Telling stories

A friend pointed me in the direction of this TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi:

I’ve been thinking about it a lot, especially in conjunction with this quote from Adrienne Rich:

”When those who have the power to name and to socially construct reality choose not to see you or hear you … when someone with the authority of a teacher, say, describes the world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked in the mirror and saw nothing.”

I wonder how that experience of seeing the world described and realizing you’re not in impacts our students. What message does it send them about whether or not their stories matter?

Do the stories we share and value (as reflected by the curriculum we present) let them know that there is a place for their stories as well? How hard is it for our students to see themselves in our classrooms?


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