Blog Post

re-introductions

I am working with students in HE in a University in Cape Town. Teaching in South African classrooms reminds me daily of Apartheid legacies...students still rarely engage socially across racial, cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds...in my projects I am trying to facilitate the sharing of students' stories to allow them to look beyond surfaces and assumptions and get to know each others' backgrounds a little bit better...ultimately to change social engagement across difference and to work towards social justice in education. I am also part of two race dialogue groups here in Cape Town...very interesting stuff. I find Martha Nussbaum's and Nancy Fraser's work on social justice / citizenship / participatory parity very useful in my work. In particular the notion of vulnerability and discomfort as a pedagogical tool to change deep seated assumptions, beliefs, feelings of mistrust towards the 'other'. In all this I am the outsider, not being South African myself...However, being in a bi-racial relationship with mixed-races kids, growing up in this deeply divided society in South Africa, I cannot escape these issues which affect me on a personal level every day through the experiences of my partner and my children and my own - maybe first - realization of what white privilege means.
 
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