We did a gallery walk of posters that students created to illustrate media portrayals of different races of people. We were looking for clues about whether the kids were able to make connections to the stereotypes and challenge where those stereotypes came from.
In looking at this work, the following questions arose for our team:
- Is it media or is it my belief? Are we a product of what we consume?
- What’s the origin? When did these beliefs begin in our lives?
- Have our perceptions of stereotypes resulted from changes in our experiences, or changes in the media we consume?
- What’s the effect in my world? How do other people’s perspectives get affected by media?
- What are the repercussions of feeding into dominant narrative? What is our individual responsibility?
- How does my awareness affect my consumption habits?
- Questioning everything: “Inferencing on steroids,” seeing past what’s given
- What kinds of questions:
- 6 Key Questions (Why should I believe this?)
- Challenging laws, practices (not accepting, “That’s the way it’s always been.”)
- Considering other realities, perspectives besides their own
- Coming up with their own questions
- Finding evidence to support their thinking
- Morality: what’s right, what’s wrong?
- Social Activism: acting on beliefs
Where is it useful to be critical in math?
- Problem solving methods, explaining your approach, strategy to choose
- Justifying steps in the process (multiple ways of approaching a problem
Within their striving to interpret this media, we want our students to be able to use their voices effectively to effect change: in their world, in their perception. We’re going beyond basic comprehension: when our students leave, how will they engage with their world? Not only that, but how will they be able to find their place in it?