My upbringing/schooling has shaped the way I read the world into a Latin American perspective. Over the years, I had been learning to see the world from the same perspective until that perspective defined in my mind became the only lens through which I view the world. Although I came to Canada and started learning from a white Eurocentric perspective, I still read the world with the same eyes as my schooling years, with Latin American eyes. This is why I consider that the schooling and upbringing education are both very important when it comes to shaping individuals. Kevin Kumashiro talks about teaching anti-oppressive education and including diverse stories. However, I feel that books that provide diversity were not introduced in my classes, neither diversity was a topic for discussion. I feel this happened because diversity is not something you could easily find in my country. Every student in my class had the same background, we were all born and raise in Argentina, and everybody had Argentinian parents as well. I feel like this could be one of the reasons why those topics were not included in my class. By not being exposed to stories that differed from how I viewed the world, I was not exposed to other perspectives that would challenge me on the way I read the world.
Single stories create stereotypes that make us see and judge people as groups and base on oversimplified ideas that we hear. Growing up I was exposed to similar viewpoints as Chimmanda’s roommate. I would view individuals from Africa under the lens of poverty and as individuals of a marginalized society. I remember media and different news or advertisements showing only that part of the continent, the lack of water or the malnutrition of african kids. This had a big role on shaping my way of seeing that part of the world, not allowing me to see the actual reality of the continent. Another single storie present in my schooling was the ignorance about diversity in the classroom and the lack of diverse books to have access to. We werent even exposed to different approaches or perspectives. Moreover, my school never touched on gender identity topics.
As a future educator I am willing to work against these biases to ensure I am creating awareness on my students and shaping their view of the world. I would like to bring different perspectives to my classroom and engaging students to see the world beyond themselves. I think we can unlearn and work against these biases through talking about them, bringing them to the class and creating awareness. This can significantly change the way students perceive the world.