I thoroughly enjoyed reading Beverly-Jean Daniel’s article Reimagining the Urban: A Canadian Perspective because it discusses a very important issue in regards to the media and its determined representation of the “urban." Daniel argues that we should reframe the urban-suburban divide to lessen the bias towards the “urban” population.
It is unfortunate to still see that the majority of people who are ignorant to other cultures truly believe the stereotypes and the one sided representations of these people based solely from media outlets. Even though Canada is known internationally for its acceptance, tolerance, and peace towards other cultures and religions, the false conceptions about race are still prevalent in schools today. Daniel states this issue in a manner that is relatable to students who have attended urban priority schools. She states, “ Canadian teacher’s images of urban schools primarily emerge from the media, most specifically the films that portray urban students as violent, racialized bodies…” (832). The media is heavily blamed for planting these misconceptions in the public, but people are also to blame for not exploring and learning about the targeted culture. Being uneducated about culture, religion, or in this case, the "urban" population hinders student-teacher relationships. Thus, I agree with Daniel’s argument that the word “urban” should be reframed and defined differently, especially since urban populations move toward suburban areas. Canada should embrace its reputation for being a multicultural mosaic and hold this status in school environments by being accepting to everyone, regardless of urban or suburban status.
In ’Where do I belong?’ Canadian Curriculum as Passport Home by Cynthia Chambers, a different style of identity is discussed. She uses her history to define her Canadian identity. But what is Canadian identity? As children in public schools, the concept of Canada having the reputation of being the most welcoming and accepting of all cultures, religions, and ethnicities has been engraved in our minds. We are constantly reminded that everyone is equal and has rights, but are Canadians hiding behind this forefront of what Canada is supposed to represent? Both Daniel’s and Chamber’s argue the existence of this supposed forefront and if Canada’s population is representing it accordingly. In regards to education, I think that the teacher population should tailer to the uniqueness and diversity of the student population in both urban and suburban schools.
William Ayers' comic book To Teach – the journey, in comics is an excellent book in regards to exposing common myths in the teaching profession. I liked that he exposes the myth that teachers know everything, when really, teachers are also learning with their students. Ayers explains that a teacher should get to know their students, which will allow for a better student-teacher relationship. I agree with him on this because nowadays it seems as though students are just people identified by numbers rather than creating an interest in their future aspirations.
Ayers, W. (2010) Chapter 1 ‘The Journey Begins’ and Chapter 2 ‘Seeing the Student’
Chambers, C. (2006). “Where do I Belong?” Canadian Curriculum as Passport Home, Journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies, 2.
Daniel, B. (2010). “Reimagining the Urban: A Canadian Perspective”. Urban Education, 45 (6) 822-839.