Last week’s lecture was very “Edutaining.” We talked about how different education and curriculum are compared to 100 years ago. There used to be “normal schools,” that were, from the sounds of it, terrible for enforcing racism. The worst part, was that it was all considered completely “normal,” and it revealed that some of that stuff is still “normal” today. Though, today it may be disguised as entertaining movies about the “Nice White Lady” who is there to save every coloured person’s day! Needless to say, this lecture was actually kind of depressing, though very eye-opening. As much as we would like to think we’re moving away from racism and leaving it in the past, we’re not. There’s plenty of racism, and just like in the past, because it is considered normal, we don’t notice it as much. I’ve heard of the “Nice white lady” trope and why its wrong before, but I never made the connection between the past and now. I’m ashamed to discover that the “Nice white lady” trope has been around for a long time. I thought it was something new.
Another part of the lecture that really stuck out to me was the ordering of foreigners by how desirable they were. It went, “Anglo Saxon, Norwegian / Northern Europe, Slavs/ Ruthenians (Eastern Slavic) / Eastern Europe, Orientals, Africans / Indians.” Looking at this order, it is pretty apparent that those who were most different from them were put further down the list. It is such a childish concept that it really baffles me that an entire nation could have such a twisted vision of the people who lived in the world around them.
Considering all the racism we talked about in this class, my answer to the question, “What makes a good student?” is pretty depressing. If a student is white, they are automatically privileged and have more opportunities presented to them. So while they may not be a good learner or even a good student by any other standards, they have an advantage, therefore are subconsciously considered to be the better student. This should not be true and as educators we really have to fight what is disguised as commonsense to provide equal opportunities to all students. Every student can be a good student.