difficult dialogues in the college classroom awareness identity development
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Difficult Dialogues in the College Classroom: Awareness & Identity Development

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Difficult Dialogues in the College Classroom: Awareness & Identity Development. Naiveté/Pre-Awareness. “Ignorance is bliss” stage. Little or no awareness of social identities and social justice issues.

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naivet pre awareness
Naiveté/Pre-Awareness
  • “Ignorance is bliss” stage.
  • Little or no awareness of social identities and social justice issues.
  • Although there may be awareness of differences, not much meaning or judgment is attributed to these observations.
bombardment
Bombardment
  • Rapid acquisition of new experiences and information that contradict and challenge existing world views and beliefs
  • For those in the privileged group, denial that there are problems, differences, inequities, injustices, or their own collusion; anger at having to deal with it or somehow be implicated in it
  • Those in the disadvantaged group may feel anger and/or shame at learning about inequities and injustices; may also resent being turned to as “the representative” for their group.
dissonance resistance
Dissonance & Resistance
  • Stage of great discomfort and most possibility of conflict.
  • Those in the privileged group often see assimilation as the way for people from the non-privileged group to behave and be successful; tend to rationalize or deny inequalities or “blame the victim”
  • Those in the disadvantaged group may want to distance themselves from other people like themselves, be seen as the "special" or "different" one, or not acknowledge that all members of their social group have not had the same opportunities.
adjustment redefinition
Adjustment & Redefinition
  • Accommodation of existing belief structure with new knowledge
  • Seek to understand ways in which inequality is manifested
  • Those in the privileged group acknowledge institutional forms of discrimination and even begin to "own" their own discriminatory behaviors
  • Those in the disadvantaged group may try to redefine themselves and find ways to challenge inequities in the system
acceptance internalization
Acceptance & Internalization
  • People accept & have a better understanding of the dynamic & insidious interplay of discriminatory practice
  • This can result in a more complex sense of self
  • Ongoing nurturance and support is critical
things to consider
Things to consider…
  • The instructor will likely be the point of attack (both passive and overt) during the Bombardment and Dissonance & Resistance stages.
  • Conflict is likely to arise when students are at different stages in the process, especially if they are two students from the same group (privileged/disadvantaged).
  • Not all students will progress through all stages or go through the stages in the same way.
suggestions for guiding students through the stages
Suggestions for Guiding Students through the Stages
  • Self-Education: develop your own knowledge about sensitive issues
  • Self-Awareness: understand your own level of comfort
  • Self-Disclosure: use examples from your own life
  • Classroom Environment: Establish ground rules, discussion guidelines, & engender trust and community
  • Affective Domain: while facts and figures are authoritative, case studies, personal stories, & experiential learning activities are powerful and bring a human face to the issue
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