Week 3: World Travelling, Science as a Humanity, and Art and Culture

Playfulness, “World”-Travelling and Loving Perception

The article Playfulness, “World”-Travelling and Loving Perception by Lugones discusses the importance of cross-cultural and cross-racial loving. I will be honest this article took me a lot to get through.  I often found myself going back and rereading parts to try to understand exactly what the author was addressing.  The paper addresses the experience of “outsiders” to mainstream society.  Lugones, highlights that women need to “learn to love each other by learning to travel to each other’s ‘worlds'” (1987, p. 4).  It is important to identify with people by travelling to each other’s worlds.

To me, the article highlights the racial differences among women in our mainstream society and the importance for women to see themselves in other women.  However, Lugones highlights the cases of White/Anglo women who are not able to see the “loving perception” of other non-White/Anglo women and continue to be complacent. This is an area that needs addressing as we move towards racial equality.  The concept of world-travelling emphasizes the importance of empathy and beyond. It requires truly understanding from another worldview.

Legitimating Lived Curriculum: Toward a Curricular Landscape of Multiplicity

The chapter Legitimating Lived Curriculum: Toward a Curricular Landscape of Multiplicity, by Aoki highlighted something of interest to me.  “Science must be taught as a humanity” (Aoki, 2005, p. 199).  This came as a response to a report of highschool graduates and the dropout rate of these students in science programs.  What needs to be done is to disturb the landscape, listen to the reasons why students are dropping out of graduate-level science programs. In Aoki’s conclusion, they state,

Curriculum developers and curriculum supervisors should head thoughtful practicing teachers who already seem to know that the privileging of the traditional C & I landscape that offers possibilities by, in part, giving legitimacy to the wisdom held in live stories of people who dwell within the landscape. (Aokim 2005, p. 214).

This quote puts teachers in the position to use their understanding of the curriculum, and dwell between the curriculum to address the needs of the students and finding appropriate ways to engage them in the content. By including the humanities in STEM fields teachers are able to address important issues facing education, such as democracy, and citizenship.  This article ties in nicely with the next chapter on the Harlem Renaissance.

Chapter 3: The Harlem Renaissance

This chapter highlights the need for creative action and ties in with the previous article by Aoki.  The chapter highlights the Harlem Renaissance including African-American intellectuals and artists that used art and culture as a form of cultural revolution.  The chapter ties in from the previous chapter and discusses the enemy of democracy, “the habit of fixed and numerically limited classifications that are ‘quantitative’ and ‘comparative'” (Pinar, 2020, p. 39). Tying this into the commodification and economization of education, where corporations and big business continue to exploit education. However, for there to be change we must address the power relations that reside in education that allow it to stay status quo. There was a powerful quote comparing the teacher’s role to change in education to a midwife. “We teachers can – subtly, indirectly, over generations – midwife a cultural renaissance. That is the progressive project of public education” (Pinar, 2020, p. 41). In the work of Du Bois, the cosmopolitan culture was to create a raceless society without erasing the historical experience of racism that unites all Black and colonized peoples.  In addition, Locke advocated for a community in which peoples of colour could enter into conversations about colonialism and White supremacy. From a K-12 education perspective, I believe that this model of a classroom provides opportunities for culturally relevant pedagogy, and safe spaces to have these conversations with students.

In addition, the article addresses the tension between STEM and the liberal arts. This tension is an interesting dynamic that of chapter authors argue the quantitative nature of STEM fields does not address the humanities and arts central to learning. In the end, Western society is privileging STEM thinking,  as compared to the arts and humanities.  As a result in education, we see politicians and profiteers benefitting from education, and driving policy and the curriculum, leaving behind teachers’ input into these crucial areas.

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