As I looked back through my blogs I realized that I liked to toss around the phrase “broaden my/their world view.” I used it to describe my own experiences and the experiences that I hope to create for my future students. Since this turned into my catch phrase during this course, I figured I should shed some more light on my understanding of it in relation to our last week in Peru and our concluding readings for the class.
A main component of broadening one’s worldview is realizing that there are other views and ways of life besides yours. I noticed this point as I read Duncan-Andrade’s article, Note to Educators: Hope Required When Growing Roses in Concrete, about critical hope. For me growing up, I had hope of college, a good career, and a middle-class lifestyle. I had hopes for this because that is the life and the world I grew up in. I didn’t have to worry about Duncan-Andrade’s various kinds of hope because I had been fortunate to have accessible opportunities. However, reading this article made me realize the existence of critical hope and the importance that it holds for those that were born into less educational and financial opportunities than myself. I can’t fully understand critical hope from the first person’s point of view, but I can recognize its importance and understand it as an educator.
I also understood a broad worldview to consist of knowing your widely understood place in your established society. For me, I was reminded and shown more proof that I am part of the financially well off. I come from a middle-class family where both my parents work. We live a very comfortable life and money has never been a major concern for us. However, my view of this can be affected at times by the environment that I am in at Marquette, a university known to have wealthier students. I catch myself getting caught up in this sometimes. I sometimes feel sorry for myself for not having as much as some of my fellow students, which is ridiculous! That thought should never even cross my mind, but I get caught up in the environment around me and it becomes my worldview. By broadening this I am able to remember the fortunate life that I lead.
Taking this idea a step further, it is important for students and people to have an understanding of their understood place in their established society. I don’t say this so people become complacent with their status, but so they challenge it. In my opinion students and people need to be aware of the roadblocks they might have in their lives. To understand and break through these roadblocks a comprehensive understanding of the world that surrounds them is necessary. A clear example of this is in Romero’s detailing of The Social Justice Education Project (SJEP) in his article “The Opportunity if not the Right to See.” The end of the article featured a poem by Liz Hernandez, a student in the SJEP. Her poem detailed the conquering and suppression of South America by the Europeans. She demonstrated a clear understanding of the world around her and the sources of the challenges that the world doling out to her.
While in the Cusco region we got a lot of history. We learned of the Incan empire, colonization, and how those two components effect the region and Peru today. I bring this up for two reasons. First, the historical information I gained on this trip about Peru and colonization was fascinating, but I was disheartened that much of it was not featured in any of my history or social studies classes growing up. In this regard my understanding of Peru and the colonization of South America expanded. Second, it sheds light on Peru’s current condition for me. Though these events transpired centuries ago, their effects can still be seen in the daily life of Cusco. Awareness of history and previous events adds to a fuller understanding a place and the effects on its people. Translating this over to the United States, we can look at Adam Fairclough’s article on Brown v. Board. Gaining a broader understanding of this court case’s place in US’ educational history gives us insight into the US’ present educational system and how we can move forward from here.
Finally, having a broad view when it comes to people is one of the most important understandings a teacher or person in general can have. Prudence L. Carter’s article, “Black” Cultural Capital, Status Positioning, and Schooling Conflicts for Low-Income African American Youth, speaks to the multi-dimensions of a single person. Her examination of the various “faces” the African American youth put on in various groups indicates the necessity to look beyond the first layer of a person. As people we have to strive to gain a broad view of others and not just settle for our first assumptions.
A broadened view of the world and others can lead to less barriers in our society. By understanding each other, our societies, and our histories we can put together a clearer picture of our world and how to improve it. I definitely left Peru with a broadened view and hope to carry that with me as I continue my pursuit to become a teacher.