Reading the World – “Christian” Lens

a) How has your upbringing/schooling shaped how you you “read the world?” What biases and lenses do you bring to the classroom? How might we unlearn / work against these biases?

I grew up in a fairly conservative Christian home. The Bible is viewed as a manual on how to live, not just some story that has no relevance to today. Because of this mindset, my biases and views of how I read the world came from those roots. Although I did not always follow the Bible personally, I definitely tried to view the world in that way. For example, when it comes to topics like gender, sexuality, abortion, relationships, etc; my opinion would be based off of the way my family viewed those things. It is not until my early thirties that I met other Christians who did not have the same views as that of my Christian family. This is a good thing, because it opened my eyes to another perspective. That just because we may have similar beliefs in faith and who created the world, our beliefs may differ on other topics. Because of this, I feel I have grown in my understanding of the world. It has not changed my faith, rather how I read the world. I read the world in a way that is more loving, non-discriminatory, and have become more passionate about anti-racist, anti-oppressive behaviours. The only person I can change is my self, and keeping an open mind and sharing space with other people allows me to possibly unlearn those biases that I was raised in. I have also noticed that since learning new perspectives, that my passion has given me a bold voice to share these positive behaviours with my family, and their biases have been challenged and changed.

b) Which “single stories” were present in your own schooling? Whose truth mattered?

The single stories presented in my own schooling was that of a Euro-centric, hetero-normative, male point of view and truth. The books we read, the resources used, the teachers who taught me. There was very little to no representation in any of it. Although we are on Treaty 4 Land, I was never once taught from an Aboriginal perspective, nor was I taught about the contributions to our society by anyone other than Europeans and majority were males. This included things such as classic literature that was being read, like Shakespeare, for example. Or scientists like Albert Einstein. This is the prime of example of the male, pale, stale. This is not to say that they did not contribute something good to the world, but they are not the only ones. In fact, in the lecture by Gale Russell on mathematics, she explained how in our education system, we were taught that one of the greatest mathematicians was Greek, as to appease the white people, when in fact, he was Egyptian. Unfortunately the truth and stories of that of white people were considered the most important to share, and that was and is still being taught in our schools today.

 

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