I’m going to try to keep this short, because you’ll have rather a long read if you follow the link below; but I’m hoping you will, because I find it very useful.
If you haven’t discovered the great Rethinking Schools nonprofit, magazine, and web site, do; it’s a rich resource – grown right here in Wisconsin! Among the many insightful pieces is Linda Christensen’s piece: The Danger of a Single Story [Volume 26 No.4 - Summer 2012 ] (like I said, long article, but worth perusing).
In the piece, Christensen describes how she uses writing assignments as part of her dual agenda – to teach students how to write compelling essays and to help students explore aspects of identity. I think her lesson could be a great spring-board into a discussion of gender-based violence, dating violence and sexual assault.
In describing her work with students, she references a TED (technology/entertainment/design) talk by Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie by the same title, “The Danger of a Single Story” (this, too, is worth your time –about 18 min. worth).
Have you used free or structured writing assignments with students or workshop participants to unpack the “ism’s” that pave the way for treating people as less than human? Have any interesting examples of things that participants have uncovered through writing? Any insights? Share in the comments…