Wednesday, July 25
5:00 – 7:00 pm | Lecture Hall #1080
2111 Lower Mall | St. John’s College
“Whose Knowledge, Whose History, Whose Education?”
Who decides what students learn and what is included in educational programs? What may this imply for students’ right to knowledge and personal (dis)empowerment?
In this dialogue session we will start off with fragments from the recent documentary Precious Knowlegde (2011), in which Hispanic students in Tucson, Arizona fight against the government’s decision to abolish all ‘Ethnic Studies’ programs in the United States. From there we hope to spark a broader discussion in which we share personal experiences related to our own educational systems. We will reflect on how cultural assumptions regarding race, class, gender, (dis)ability, religion, etc. may facilitate or complicate our learning experiences. The government’s role in all of this is also something we think is important to address; Is it the government’s task, whose members are usually not teachers or educators, to decide on what to cut from curricula and what not? Is the government’s way of going about education in a ‘businesslike fashion’ (US and Canada for example) in any way justifiable?
In anticipation of this dialogue, we will show the documentary on Monday July 23rd at 8 pm in the Social Lounge in St. John’s College!
In the meanwhile and to facilitate discussion on the 25th, we would like to ask you to reflect on:
– your educational experiences and think about how educational politics may have shaped your current knowledge.
– topics important to you that, for some reason, were not addressed or perhaps brushed aside by teachers. Why may this have been?
– what you think about ethnic studies programs that are set up to serve one particular ethnic group (African American/Asian/Hispanic… schools).
To get your thoughts rolling, see:
synopsis of Precious Knowledge
Precious Knowledge trailer(s)
Chicano! – Taking Back The Schools