Tuesday, May 3, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I actually took pictures…it’s a WIP Knit Wednesday, as I have not worked on any crochet projects since finishing the Mission Falls set.


Basket Weave square from Barbara Walker’s Learn to Knit book


My A Breath of Fresh Air (Rav link) scarf from the February Loopy Kit.


My sock…it is the Knitmore Girls Vanilla Sock pattern

I’m going to, I don’t know, vent or rant for a minute…

Yesterday a friend mentioned that her second grade daughter’s homework was to look at pictures and guess what culture was being depicted by the people’s faces and clothing….It really bothered me.  I asked for some more information (it bothered the mom too).  It is from a new social studies series of a well known company.  They were drawn pictures (not real photos).  And there were no real clues exempt those of the clothing and the faces.  I talked it over with my fifth graders today…one of them said it was racist…we had a good discussion about stereotypes….shouldn’t we be teaching our children NOT to judge by what a person looks like?  Unless there is an anthropological objective, you need to discuss cultures based on more than a person’s clothing and looks.  You can’t judge people in this day and age on what they “look” like…..It’s not cut and dry, especially here in the US and other countries which have had a large influx of immigrants in their past and present.

It just disturbed me…We decided to take a picture to show how difficult it could be to judge on appearance.  Here is a picture of some of my students..

DSC03862 One is African-American, one is Caucasian, one has parents of different heritages and the others are of different Latino cultures….Can you tell which is which?


Rain said...

These are very sharp kids!! Bravo! Love the idea you or whomever came up with of showing the arms and hands only-this tells more then words.

ewenique said...

your 'rant' is very thought provoking. I do this A LOT, mostly with Africans and Asians. I don't think of it as judging, rather as identifying. Judgement is a totally different issue.

When travelling on public transport (anywhere not just here in the UK) I watch people, listen to them speak and try to guess where they're from.
More often than not (time, e.t.c. permitting), I'll even ask them, and if we get that far I'll tell them what I guessed.
I don't recall ever offending any one. Now I wonder whether this is because of the manner in which I broach my questions or because I'm obviously not from these parts.

Furthermore, I had this very same social studies exercise when I was in primary school (an international school) and if I remember correctly, it was a UNESCO picture book. The bottom line is that we ARE very different and I feel that there's nothing wrong in identifying and discussing these differences, be that a physical difference or a different way of dress.
I think it fosters an understanding, tolerance or better still, acceptance of these differences.

I'll be keeping an eye on your comments as I'm interested to read what others have to say about this. Great post! and good job with your knitting too.

Gracey is not my name.... said...

Oh I do the same...I am very interested in other cultures and people who live differently than I do..In fact we had a substitute teacher yesterday and we were talking at lunch and I asked if he minded if I asked what his heritage was. His parents are from Pakistan, but they lived in London before coming here...and I think that is a way to open up discussion and understanding of our differences. But one of the things I didn't mention is this is a Catholic school in a very rural area, so few if any minorities. So it's not like they can discuss their differences. I just think it can be such a sensitive subject and needs to be broached with care. My school is different in that it is 95% minority. And yes, I'm interested to see what others have to share..