Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer Reading Reflection

The concept of globalization in one's curriculum seems to, in many ways, be self-explanatory and almost implied in our responsibilities as teachers.  However, the inflexibility of curriculum and methods that are noted in this article are very real. While reading this excerpt from what seems to be a valuable reminder of what our purpose is for educating, I couldn't help but reflect on my own curriculum and wonder if it is as diverse and global as it should be.  As an English teacher, I have the wonderful opportunity to expose students to characters, ways of life, and cultures that they can then try to relate to and understand through their writing. This can be very limited, or extremely global, depending on the choice of materials. When I first starting teaching, I attended a NYAIS diversity conference and I was instructed by the keynote speaker to go back to my classroom and merely look at the books that I keep on my shelves. What is available for my students to pick up and read? Is it global? Is it representative of what our entire world has to offer? Can it be related to contemporary issues and promote rich conversation about necessary change? I feel as though these questions are exactly what this reading is trying to have us teachers reflect upon as we embark on yet another school year. I know after reading this, I am considering new perspectives and new worlds that can be introduced through reading and writing.  After all, if students do not have the opportunity to travel and see how others live, work, prosper, or fail, literature often provides us with that opportunity from the comfort of our own homes. Therefore, an elite private school in Cambridge can be global, if we just give students the opportunities to extend their minds beyond the familiar through cultural fiction, non-fiction, different newspapers (besides our own local ones), articles on global science endeavors, musical feats, and art around the world. This reading was a nice reminder of what it means to have an active and energetic curriculum that changes from year to year and reflects our contemporary issues.

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