One body, Many parts
The intentional destruction of cultures and annihilation of people through imperialism, colonization, and neglect has been devastating to the world. When one group sees themselves as greater than others and as a consequence believes they must wipe out or at least subjugate others, that faulty thinking kills spirit and life. In preparation for liturgy this Sunday I was reading the scriptures that my husband and I were to proclaim to the assembled. In our church it is the feast of Pentecost, a time when the Holy Spirit is believed to have inSpired followers of Jesus to take his story and message of peace and respect for the marginalized to the world. The following passage connected with the readings for our Introduction to Doctoral Studies class, TEL 706, for me: “The body is one and has many members, but all the members, many though they are, are one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12 New American Bible).
That passage is hopeful for me. Despite the beliefs of some that White is right and that everyone else should try to imitate the majority culture in power and that some people are not worthy of going to college, if we focus on communities’ cultural wealth (Yosso, 2005), we may recognize one community’s parts (or wealth) as different from another’s yet necessary to make the “body” complete.
Uncertainty is necessary for learning (Piaget in Jordan & McDaniel, in press) and managing that uncertainty is necessary in collaborative learning (Jordan & McDaniel, in press). Research requires collaborative learning. If researchers are anything like fifth graders working on robot projects, by expressing uncertainty about established research methods or the causality of “racial” problems as Zuberi & Bonilla-Silva (2008) do, the path is open for other researchers to explore the uncertainties as well and create new methods or explanations. Uncertainty allows a step back to “see” with fresh eyes a sharper, more focused image. It’s like when you lose something and get frantic searching for it – so frantic that you can’t see it’s right in front of you. Stepping away and then coming back to contentious research questions when you are calmer often brings the “lost” item into focus.
I may be naive, but I would like to believe the “lost” item is the viewpoint of indigenous people throughout the world who, through imperialism, colonization, and neglect, lost their culture and ways of knowing. It will take more than just stepping away to reclaim culture and ways of knowing, but that’s a start. Being open to stepping away and seeing research methods or ways of knowing or teaching with new eyes may allow the white folks and the indigenous to see what’s been right in front of them – a narrative, cultural capital, learning by engaging with the earth. Because ultimately, we are all of the same body – just many parts: Africans, Maori, Anglos; one an eye, another an ear, another a foot – all parts that are needed to complete one body that functions effectively in the world.
“If the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ would it then no longer belong to the body? If the body were all eye what would happen to our hearing? If it were all ear, what would happen to our smelling?” 1 Corinthians 12:16-17
Jordan, M. E., & McDaniel, R. (in press). Managing uncertainty during collaborative problem solving in elementary school teams : The role of peer influence in robotics engineering activity. Journal of the Learning Sciences, doi: 10.1080/10508406.2014.896254
Yosso, T. J. (2005). Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth. Race Ethnicity and Education, 8(1), 69–91. doi:10.1080/1361332052000341006
Zuberi, T. & Bonilla-Silva, E. (2008). White Logic , White Methods: Racism and methodology. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Latest posts by lynn mizzi brysacz (see all)
- The Foundation of Mindset – June 20, 2014
- “Words, words, words, I’m so sick of words!” (Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady”) – June 17, 2014
- “I think I can, I think I can, I….” – June 13, 2014
- Many parts, One body – June 10, 2014
- Menu: Accelerated Learning – Best with Sides – June 6, 2014