Blast from the Past: An old blog entry that, for me, connects to Tim Holt’s expectation for racial equality among ISTE Edubloggercon. BTW, thanks to Doug Johnson for the use of his “Blast from the Past” title denoting an old blog entry.
While blogging is so much about reflection, it is rare that I do take the opportunity to reflect on what I’ve written in the past…not the recent past, but long past. However, I took a moment to do so because a conversation about writing for social justice made me remember a quote I heard from the founder of AVID.
I had the opportunity to hear Mary Catherine Swanson speak at an AVID Conference in Austin a few years ago…here’s an excerpt of what she said, and I think it has applications to conversations we have every day:
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
Power concedes nothing without demand–never has, never will. As we seek the courage to overcome, we must remember our students. We now face a critical juncture. We can change the course of history. Those who define the issues also determine the outcome.
Challenging age-old beliefs with rigor and support, we can change…that will rattle ingrained systems…a “quiet revolution.”
Each of you, small and large has the power to change course of education. Four factors influence student success–income level, family life, education, and the community they grow up in… we have proved that students don’t have to be determined by these factors.
What powerful words these are, not just for students who participate in the AVID Program, but for adults in schools today.
Powerful quotes remind us of who we want to be, of striving to be the change we want to be in the world.
The obligation of anyone who thinks of himself as responsible is to examine society and try to change it and to fight it–at no matter what risk.
–James Baldwin, “A Talk to Teachers”
and Patrick J. Finn’s work:
First, there is empowering education, which leads to powerful literacy, the kind of literacy that leads to positions of power and authority. Second, there is domesticating education, which leads to functional literacy, literacy that makes a person productive and dependable, not troublesome.
Power concedes nothing without demand…are you part of the struggle for progress? Tim Holt suggests that a “sea of white” in photo after photo gives lie to the diversity of the edublogosphere. He writes:
Every year, I make the claim, falling on deaf ears as it does, that the folks that are putting together the national ISTE Edublogger Cons for whatever reason, are not meeting the needs of a diverse group of teachers, or that they represent education in general. Every year, I look at the “group photo” of the year’s event and think that it is no where near representative of the education professionals population in general.
This reminds me often of the claims I made back in the 1990s, that bilingual educators’ voices were not part of the online conversation. Where were my colleagues, those so committed to the rights of bilingual children, maintenance bilingual programs, focused on academic programs that developed CALPS rather than simply BICS?
And, though Tim has complained that diversity is not present in the pictures, he offers nothing but criticism of the “white elephant”. Rather than complain, why not tap into PLNs a la Beth Still to send the lone brown face to represent the masses Tim refers to as unrepresented?
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