In his book, Christopher Emdin says that the heading “calls out to those for and about whom it is written.” To be more specific, the title is calling out to the white folks and the rest of “y’all too.” The intention for calling out to these humans as it relates to working with students is to tell the truth as it is about education and giving suggestions. Emdin further clarifies that the book’s heading is meant for the white folks who teach in the hood. By “white folks” Emdin refers to people of all races who influence education. As he writes, “They may be white. They may be black” (Emdin). As such, I am a “white folk” since the term includes individuals from all ethnicities who are likely to use particular strategies in education that is unfair to the youth of color. On the other hand, the “hood” is defined as areas that are socioeconomically deprived and with limited resources. As such, a person who teaches in the “hood” is based in areas, which have characteristics such as poverty and high levels of dysfunction.
Regarding the reality pedagogy, I was curious to know how one can utilize a teaching approach on people from a certain ethnic group without stereotyping or being influenced by the biases they hold towards that group. Emdin writes that, “instead of seeing the students as equal to their cultural identity, a reality pedagogue sees students as individuals who are influenced by their cultural identity” (Emdin). As such, my question was answered. Upon reading the text, what stuck with me about reality pedagogy is that students play a significant role in determining how learning will take place even though the educator is the person in control of giving the content. More so, the open nature of the approach enables the teacher to understand the learner better, leading to the development of an effective learning strategy. The fact that reality pedagogy allows role reversal where students become experts in their learning and the educator becomes the learner got me thinking me whether the teaching would be effective. Something new that I learned is that the model focuses on what the students feel about the teaching methods that have been applied on them.
As for me, reality pedagogy is a learning tactic that emphasizes on the need for teachers to understand their students better. For instance, an educator who utilizes the approach seeks to know the culture of their students on a personal level and not as a group. From the knowledge acquired, shapes what teaching model should be applied on a student for learning to be effective. Moreover, reality pedagogy makes learning easier as the instructor does not dominate the session but allows the learners to express themselves and share their experiences.
Gender, rave, and self-perception are some examples of our visible identities. They are important as they tell us who we are. For instance, one’s gender enables then to understand that they are a male or a female and the qualities attributed to that. In addition, they inform us about the roles we are expected to play as well as how the society views us. For instance, a black person knows that white people may be biased towards them. Visible identities can make people undermine those who do not look like us. They show up in space in the sense that they may be associated with fear, and anger, among other emotions. Teaching may be ineffective if the educators ignore their students’ psychic spaces which originate from various experiences and emotions. As such, there is a need for educators to start seeing the students the way they see themselves. My identity enables me to relate well with other people while at school. For instance I find it easier to seek help from people who are of the same gender as me. Also, I try to be polite when relating with students who are from a different ethnicity as me. I consider myself an approachable, honest, open-minded, and a reliable person. However, some people at school say that I am not sociable and that I cannot be trusted.
Neo-indigenous youth are those who are politically, socially, and physically suppressed. In other words, it means young people who have been marginalized and they have similar experiences as the urban youth of color. On the other hand, indigenous people who are the original inhabitants in the place they live under the rule of their colonizers. Moreover, they are closely tied to their culture and have unique behaviors such as communicating and the way they interact with each other. In my life I have never felt like a neo-indigenous youth. I have also never perpetuated an oppressive role towards a person or people from a particular group. However, I have come across people who discriminated on racial basis and I tried as much as I could to intervene.
Emdin, C. (n.d.). For white folks who teach in the hood. Reality pedagogy and urban education.