I would say that my upbringing and schooling was very unique compared to others. I say this because I was raised in a religious family, with my parents being very involved in our church. Along with this, from Pre-K all the way through to grade 12, I attended a private Christian school. I don’t say those as negative things though, and in fact, I wouldn’t change my experience for anything else, but as you can imagine there were lots of biases and specific lenses that I learned about the world (and school) through. Not to say that I was completely “cut off from the world”, but it wasn’t until I entered university, that I began to find how different my upbringing was from others. I was confronted with so many new viewpoints, cultures, religions and so much more that I was unfamiliar with.
A simple example of things I was blind to in my school, was the fact that there are so many students who deal with disability. At my school, there were very few students who had a disability, and even for the ones who did, it was never something that you would be able to notice on the surface. Entering university and especially Education, I realized just how large of an issue that has become within schools, when before it was something I never even considered.
When it comes to the “single stories” presented in my own school, I am drawn towards my History 30 class. Each class mainly consisted of us sitting down in front of a screen, watching “Canada: A Peoples History” and answering generic questions just to make sure we were paying attention. While I can’t say from memory how many perspectives and viewpoints were being represented, the fact is, everything we learned about was very surface level, and never had us consider the good and bad aspects of what we were watching. This is what Kumashiro describes in Chapter 7, where we need to be asking the deeper questions, to help challenge and break the biases that our students and even ourselves as the teacher may hold. If we don’t gives others a voice to challenge or look beyond the surface of a lesson, then we are only going to help reinforce the discriminatory and oppressive behaviors that are so present within schools.