Reflection on Brookefield’s “Teaching our own Racism”

Brookfield, Stephen. (2014). Teaching our own racism: Incorporating personal

narratives of whiteness into anti-racist practice. Adult Learning 25(3), 89-95.

 

When I began reading this article, I kept thinking this has nothing to do with my practice. I am much younger than Brookefield so I was not brought up in a time when racist jokes were the norm, or when discrimination was acceptable.  As I read on, I realized that yes, I was brought up in a time of change I still was brought up by people who were raised during a time of assumptions and stereo types.

I remember growing up and constantly correcting my uncles or family friends when they would say a racist comment. It became a joke to them, they would go out of their way to get a rise out of me. I felt that I was doing good by trying to instil higher moral around our world.

I do wonder how I am as an educator when it comes to discrimination. I began to reflect on my own practice to see if I too, like Brookefield would be easier on certain races.  I believe, in my early years I may have been. Now, after working with multicultural classes I have more of an understanding that I treat everyone the same. However, when Brookefield began speaking of “micro-agressions,” I had to stop and ponder.

I think we need to let go of our assumptions of people all around, not just in race. Being an educator we need to let go of assumptions of our learners and their parents and guardians. I believe I will be more conscience of how I react or how I say things amongst my class, my peers, and my world. I am curious to see if those “micro-aggressions” are present in my day to day interactions and in my practice. I am also curious to see why and how I can change it.

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