Curriculum as Literacy

My upbringing and schooling has shaped the way I read “the real world” because of how majority of literature had been the “classics” such as novels  such as 1984 by George Orwell, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespear, and the occasional short story about Indigenous people but written by white man. When you really explore the connections between the classics and other readings they are all written by the old white men. Where majority of the characters in the book are also white. In the reading Kumashiro mentioned questions about if all readers could connect the stories to their own lives. 

“ Could they relate to the central character, to being an outcast, or having conflicts with their parents? Have they befriended someone different from themselves? What experiences or observations of racism can they remember from their own lives? How would they have acted differently in the situation at the turning point of the novel? WOuld they have wanted to see a different ending?” (Kumashiro 2009, p.73). 

These questions are something curent educators should be asking before deciding on required readings for the class. Especially when I remember that the majority of assignment questions are about exploring what the character may be thinking, how readers would handle the situations given, and to make connections to the character. As educators there is a responsibility to ensure that all students feel welcomed, accepted, and respected in the classroom.

When watching Chimamanda Adichie’s TED Talk she mentions how she would read classic children’s books growing up, and mentioned how the characters would all have blonde hair and blue eyes. Because of that when she would write her own stories the drawings of characters would also have blonde hair and blue eyes, instead of resembling herself. I remember this because all of the characters I can really remember reading about were white with blue or green eyes. Hopefully when I become an educator I can have a diverse amount of books that include LGBTQ+, different cultures, and strive for equality for everyone. 

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