Oppressed & Silenced

Well, I’ll begin by stating that I am a little befuddled. I actually struggled with the first reading (Freire) and it wasn’t due to the quantity of pages. As I read, I tried to find the voice of the author. Maybe that was wrong (at least for me). I’m sure my classmates were able to comprehend the articles message. I felt like it was interesting but words kept going over my head and my mind drifted to history and movies, particularly with the terms oppressed and the oppressor. I know last week Peter Elbow was trying to help us compromise with voice. Sometimes it’s there to hear and other times its nonexistent. In order for me to at least become a part of the article, I had to create a list of words that stood out. I felt like those words (plus more) were moving to create a movie scene.

Here are a few- aspire, repression, internalized, conscious, power, liberation, humanization, existence, experience and etc.

Here are some of the movies that reminded me of this article:


Birth of a Nation (2016)

The Green Mile

A Bronx Tale

The Color Purple

Hidden Figures

Lean on Me


School Daze

School Ties

Stand and Deliver

The Hate U Give

Of course the list can continue but the point isn’t to share movie titles but rather to see within the characters purpose and forms of oppression. Did they conform to being products of their environments or did they rise up above the smoke and find their humanity?

To no longer be prey to its force, one must emerge from it and turn upon it. This can be done only by means of the praxis: reflection and action upon the world in order to transform it.Image result for paulo freire quotes"

Freire defines dehumanization as what marks not only those whose humanity has been stolen, but also (though in a different way) those who have stolen it, is a distortion of the vocation of becoming more fully human.  I believe Freire is questioning everyone and asking if we seek to be humanized? Its almost as if we all are oppressed and the oppressor at some point.

Hence, the radical requirement -both for the individual and who discovers himself or herself to be an oppressor and for the oppressed-that the concrete situation which begets oppression must be transformed.

I like the phrase,

The “fear of freedom” which afflicts the oppressed,[3]a fear which may equally well lead
them to desire the role of oppressor or bind them to the role of oppressed, should be
examined. One of the basic elements of the relationship between oppressor and oppressed is prescription. Every prescription represents the imposition of one individual’s choice upon another, transforming the consciousness of the person prescribed to into one that conforms with the prescriber’s consciousness. Thus, the behavior of the oppressed is a prescribed behavior, following as it does the guidelines of the oppressor.

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I want to say more but I feel like I am missing the inner puzzle pieces.  I  am definitely looking forward to Dana clarifying this for me.







Student Writers & Revision Strategies: Remixing Cultures use the Kitchen Sink

Re-posting what I lost on October 5. I knew WordPress has it in for me but now they like me again. This was the post they took from me. Surprisingly I found it on my blog site from the summer Writing Inquiry class. I haven’t used this since July and boom it was there. Better late than never. Yay me!!


In the article, Remix Culture, we learn that the term remix refers to the process of making something new from preexisting materials. In a way it becomes a particular art form whether through art, music, writing or reading (imagination). To remix music is to have a sense of what can blend and accentuate the current melodies. Yes it is true, the majority of songs remixed are in the genre of house/dance or hip hop and r&b. Your mind has to be open to listen beyond your comfort. I can take Celine Dion’s version of Ave Maria and add a light “hip hop” drum. The goal isn’t to mask the original but to find a new way to connect with a different audience and catch their ears. In doing so I’m bringing them to understand the original song, the artist and respect for a new genre.

Remix in writing is inviting the reader to your world. ” With the abundance of tools for creating remixes in genres from written word to digital games, the practices of remix are here to stay.” Remixing can become an issue for many. Life has multiple genres that we do need to take into consideration and bridge the gap of acknowledging various individualities/ personalities. How can we make new and be stuck in the old?

Great example of a new remix on its way, is Disney’s remake of Aladdin and Little Mermaid.


Professor Akant of ” I would use the Kitchen Sink” created a detailed syllabus describing writing expectational requirements for the students. She wanted to devise an opportunity for student-centered learning through creative and transgressive acts of re-building, re-visioning, and re-mixing the basic (and not-so-basic) materials that we – as students, teachers, citizens, and humans – already have in front of us.

The syllabus is suppose to not only to re-invigorate the tired approach to achieving institutionally required learning objectives and outcomes (such as the personal narrative, the standard 5-paragraph essay, and traditional research methods), but it also interrogates the ways that creative writing can change the course of academic authorship and literacy practice from the inside-out.

When students receive a syllabus, sometimes it is easy to read and not comprehend what is read or explained; whereas Akant chooses to approach a new activity using steps and a keycode. This plan creates accountability on all aspects and groups. If students can discuss, dissect and decipher then they will eventually develop skills to comprehend the task at hand. She even removed the possibility of purchasing books to avoid added stress.

The HABITS OF MIND: Guideline for Achieving Desired Level of Understanding, is helping students question and understand what will be read and written to the overall vision. Multiple perspectives helps you to become aware from different eyes and ears. Evidence allows you to play Sherlock Holmes, does your evidence prove the facts. Analyzing guides you to the bigger picture because now you are questioning all facets. How does all of this go together, simply put how can it connect it all? Writing is all about taking risks and knowing when to step outside your comfort.

It’s safe to say, the student will eventually recognise the remix within their revision.

Revision Strategies are foreign to me.

Rohman’s perceives revision from prewriting to writing to rewriting. Whereas, Britton metaphorically considers it the conception- incubation- production (almost as if you were caring for chicks).

What is impossible in speech is revision? How true is this? Many of us write the way we speak. It is easy to believe after all that, there isn’t anything wrong with our writing. I remember my teachers would ask me to revise what I wrote. To me a revision represented the final version. The infamous red pen, became our responsibility to use because it showed our teacher that we were correcting. A few lines crossed out here.. a new word from the thesaurus plugged in here.. put sentence one after four and remove five entirely. Rather than say revise, I would think correct yourself. Using particular words make a big difference.

The following are samples of these definitions:

Scratch Out and Do Over Again: “I say scratch out and do over, and that means what it says. Scratching out and cutting out. I read what I have written and I cross out a word and put another word in; a more decent word or a better word. Then if there is somewhere to use a sentence that I have crossed out, I will put it there.”

Reviewing: “Reviewing means just using better words and eliminating words that are not needed. I go over and change words around.”

Reviewing: “I just review every word and make sure that everything is worded right. I see if I am rambling; I see if I can put a better word in or leave one out. Usually when I read what I have written, I say to myself, ‘that word is so bland or so trite,’ and then I go and get my thesaurus.”

Redoing: “Redoing means cleaning up the paper and crossing out. It is looking at something and saying, no that has to go, or no, that is not right.”

Marking Out: “I don’t use the word rewriting because I only write one draft and the changes that I make are made on top of the draft. The changes that I make are usually just marking out words and putting different ones in.”

Slashing and Throwing Out: “I throw things out and say they are not good. I like to write like Fitzgerald did by inspiration, and if I feel inspired then I don’t need to slash and throw much out.

In this article, writing isn’t a major issue but knowing you have to revise your work, you become confuse, frustrated and feel hopeless, especially when you think your choice is right and it turns out you’re way off.

For my case, I believe I struggled with the inability to “see” revision as a process. As stated the inability to “re-view” their work again, as it were, with different eyes, and to start over.

Take this line into consideration,

It is this complicated relationship between the parts and the whole in the work of experienced writers which destroys the linear model; writing cannot develop “like a line” because each addition or deletion is a reordering of the whole.

Take this as a form of writing appreciation,

They need to rely on their own internalized sense of good writing and to see their writing with their “own” eyes. Seeing in revision-seeing beyond hearing-is at the root of the word revision and the process itself…. Good writing disturbs: it creates dissonance. Students need to seek the dissonance of discovery, utilizing in their writing, as the experienced writers do, the very difference between writing and speech-the possibility of revision.

Writing is a process. It is not an easy process but definitely a process. In a strange way, we hope for the product to be within standards. Sometimes these standards and/or expectations can make you feel as if your losing your sense of self. Learning the art of writing strategies helps you to find your individual voice. We should not be afraid to remix our thoughts, recognise our revisions and create a map of strategies to guide us.

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Writing & Identity.

The Pedagogy of The Oppressed. – At the start of Chapter 1 Freire introduces what he calls humankind’s central problem: humanization which is a persons natural drive to affirm ourselves as human beings. And dehumanization: which is the product of historical oppression. He goes on to say most peoples natural tendency is to strive to be more humanized. But this process is not easy due to injustice, oppression, exploitation and violence. Freire believes as do I that dehumanization is not our destiny as a people. Rather it is due to a unfair social order and justice system. Because of this he believes that oppressed people must free themselves and also liberate their oppressors from an unjust system. Any movement to defeat oppression must be lead by oppressed people because they have experienced it first hand and understand the implications of it. In fighting for their humanity they highlight how important liberation is. Freire believes that an oppressed system shapes the attitudes of the oppressed people, and makes them believe they should become like their oppressors. When oppressors appear to help oppressed people, Freire argues that they often harbor a false generosity that relies on oppression to work. Freire boils down the oppressor/oppressed relationship to one of prescription: oppressed people behave in ways prescribed to them by their oppressors. Freire suggests that oppressed people fear freedom because it requires them to reject these internalized ideals and behaviors. This article was very dense and it took me some time to re read it to fully grasp the meaning. But I’m happy I did because I found it to be thought provoking and very profound. I feel smarter and more enlightened now having read it lol. I think that what he is saying essentially is that there is a constant tension between people struggling to be themselves and the oppressors who are standing in the way of what human beings want out of life. He continually stresses the importance of how oppressed people must lead their own struggle for freedom and liberation. But what needs to be done first is for the oppressed people to shift their thinking of how to live, which is usually based off of a hierarchal system of oppression. Since oppressed people learn that this hierarchy is the natural and moral way to organize society, they may have to relearn long-held beliefs and attitudes toward society and each other. Freire argues that non-oppressors can hinder their struggle for freedom when they hold on to the values and methods of the oppressors. Education, to Freire, has the potential to be a tool for human transformation. But this requires us to consider what education could look like if we remodeled it to specifically address the needs of oppressed people, instead of serving the interests of oppressors. DEEP!! Xo

The Silent Dialogue: In Educating Other Peoples Children. The central idea of The Silenced Dialogue is a school of thought exists in the public school system relating to the fact that non-white educators feel left out from the debate of how to teach children of color. The article’s author tells us educators of color feel they are expected to teach minority students using methods and styles which are not effective. A debate arises as teachers of color and white teachers each have different ideas of what is the best practice. A unique problem presents itself as both groups of teachers feel they have the correct answer, but their voices are not being heard. The term culture of power is introduced to determine the correct teaching method. The article continues with the breakdown of the five different facets of power we experience in the classroom setting. The first one states an issue of power is played out in the classroom. This is followed by the concept that there are codes or rules for participating in the culture of power. We then learn the exact rules of the culture of power reflect the rules of the culture which holds the power. Delpit continues that when we are aware of the rules of the culture, obtaining power becomes easier. The last aspect we learn is those with the power most often are not aware of it or even willing to accept such a balance exists. Rather, those who do not hold the power are the most aware of the situation. She furthered her argument with different illustrations to show differences in communication styles of teachers of color when speaking to their students. I then understood just what the culture of power was; it states very clearly who is in charge. She concludes by stating teaching processes have been established for easier evaluative purposes and not necessarily for what is best for all students. She says the voices of all teachers must be heard and listened to in order to end the silenced dialogue. I found it interesting how both articles tied into the same themes of: power, authority, education and oppression. Although these articles were written over 30 years ago these topics are still relevant today. Another interesting fact about both articles is how sometimes people don’t even recognize or understand the power they hold. Race issues and power struggles in particular were the main themes throughout the second Delpit article. I understood and respected her point of view. But it was a very racially charged article. I think a bit too black and white, or I should say black VS. white. In my humble opinion. Working as a educator and one who works in the inner city in a low income school district, of course I understand the educational and racial disparities that still exist today, 30 years plus since this article was published. However, being that I’m literally in the trenches of the politics involved in education (and yes there are a lot.) and I’m knee deep in the daily struggles ALL my students face, regardless of their race, I hope and pray that the disparities we face are something that we can come together to fix. Instead of focusing so much on power struggles and the division among black and white educators and black and white students. Xo