Describing the Problem
In literacy, the dominant discourses limit recognition of the extent of violence and the effects of violence on learning. The impact of violence is traditionally seen as separate from education, and viewed as a matter for therapeutic interventions. As a result, though many literacy workers hear repeated accounts from students of current or past violence, there are few venues to talk about these issues and how best to respond. Although little is written or spoken about the links between violence and literacy, anecdotal accounts of literacy workers suggest that frequently all, or most, students in a class have experienced sexual or physical abuse as children and many have continued to experience violence as adults.
Unless education at all levels acknowledges the violence in the lives of women and children and its impact on learning, many students will not only fail to learn, but may also experience the educational setting as a silencing place, or another site of violence, where they are controlled, diminished and shamed by institutional structures or classroom interactions. ...Read More
Introducing the Connection
A short video and exercise to creatively explore the problem of violence and learning through images. Created by Amanda Rennick for the course: Women, Violence and Literacy Learning at OISE/UT Spring 2007
Watch the video:
VIOLENCE AND LEARNING VIDEO EXERCISE:
Prior to the film the facilitator may want to engage the group with a basic brainstorming activity completed individually or in small groups.
I would ask them to withhold from discussing the themes and/or the groups' thoughts until the film is finished. I would then play the multi-media presentation.
Play the Film
Once the film is complete I would want to explore, compare, contrast, individuals notions of the two themes 'violence' and 'learning' as a group referring to the brainstorming activity and the film.
It is during this time the facilitator would guide discussions toward:
The Power of Denial
When educators, program designers and administrators ignore the issue of violence and its impact on learning we/they deny students the supportive environment that would allow recognition of the fact that violence negatively affects learning. Denial hinders any exploration of alternate strategies to support learning. When the issue is ignored, problems get larger – within the silence the dragon grows. The larger the problems get the more scary they seem, and the more difficult it is to participate and learn. Yet, if we turn and face our struggles – acknowledge the impacts of violence are there, then there are a myriad of ways to address them and support learning – both our own learning and the learning of others.
This children’s story powerfully reveals how determined we can be to deny reality, and to push things away that we can plainly see!
Click on the illustration above to see a large version
Text and Illustration from THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A DRAGON by Jack Kent. Used by permission of Golden Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc. www.randomhouse.com.
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|Learning & Violence Home|
|BUILDING AN UNDERSTANDING: • The problem • Violence • Impact|
|EXPLORING POSSIBILITIES: • Learning processes • Helping yourself learn • Helping others learn • Learning to teach|
|CREATING CHANGE: • Changing education • Where in the world • Taking care of self|
|IMAGINING A FUTURE: • Dreams of a different world|