Reflexive Paper: Week Three


HGED 615C: Reflexive Paper

Week Three

Iowa State University

January 31, 2008


  • Relational power is a dynamic interactional construct between people.

  • Understanding how power is distributed is key to being successful within the realm of education.

  • People are categorized to create a hierarchal social system.

  • Categories or classifications of people are accomplished, created by a process, or socially constructed within intricate power relations.

  • Over time, the power relation interactions become systemized between race, gender, class and abilities.

  • The academe is able to protect them from the accountability for what occurs in their environment in and out of the higher education setting. Because of the power relations, it is not always possible to hold each other accountable for their actions.

  • How the Western world academe chooses to go about the dialogue is what determines the power relations and dialogues within the educational context without considering the multiple viewpoints.

  • Ignoring one voice at the table ignores all of the education available to us as a society.

  • We do not necessarily treat all perspectives equally – legitimacy must be granted in order for it to a valid perspective.

  • Students construct their knowledge by reconditioning reason to the worlds of their personal experience.


In respect to the readings, I recognize that I am a product of the Western educational system. Growing up, we were not necessarily taught about all of the intricacies within the cultures of the United States. We were not privy to the global perspectives being considered as part of the academe today. Instead, it was a consistent privileged message that was taught via the banking method of education.

I only knew my way of thinking, what my family, church and education instructed me to know as a person. I did not understand that there was anything but those perspectives of the elders around me. This was until a professor in undergraduate college has us stand on our chairs and look at the way in which we were learning differently than any other course. The professor gave us permission to experiment with the way we would interpret and learn from the material he shared with us, and the information we gathered from our individual resources. The professor never said we were not valid with our way of thinking about the projects or problems. Instead, he let us learn from the entire experience.

I recognized at an early age, my parents taught me what was right and wrong in their eyes. They did not allow me to learn from my experiences. My father was very much like the character Archie Bunker – only his opinion was valid in regards to people. It was not out of the ordinary for him to expound about the people who lived in one neighborhood, or my friends who were “different” then me. I was told to not date anyone outside of my religion as race at a very young age. You should know – I did not necessarily keep those tenets as my own personal values as I grew older.

What concerns me as an educator is how do I ensure, I do not engage in the same behavior? How do I make sure that I will make a difference in what I do? How will I make sure I keep my eyes open to all of the different view of the world – and recognize although I do not believe in one perspective – does not mean it is not valid – how do I do that?


  • Constructivism, “as a single entity; in reality, it has become fairly commonplace in discussions of constructivism to distinguish between what are often taken to be two fundamentally distinct competing types of constructivism” (Regan, 2000, pp. 7).
  • “Ethnocentrism, refers to the tendency to view one’s own cultural group as superior to others a tendency common to most, if not all human societies” (Regan, 2000, pp. 3-4).
  • Colonization, “occurs whenever any one or more species populates a new area. The term, which is derived from the Latin colere, “to inhabit, cultivate, frequent, practice, tend, guard, respect,”[1] originally related to humans. However, 19th century biogeographers dominated the term to describe the activities of birds or bacteria, or plant species.[2] Human colonisation is a narrower category than the related concept of colonialism, because whereas colonisation refers to the establishment of settler colonies, trading posts, and plantations with your own population, colonisalism deals with this and the ruling of existing overseas peoples”(
  • Discourse, “is communication that goes back and forth (from the Latin, discursus, “running to and from”), such as debate or argument. The term is used in semantics and discourse analysis. In semantics, discourses are linguistic units composed of several sentences — in other words, conversations, arguments or speeches. Plato was famous for believing that any problem could be solved by rational and logical discourse” (
  • Essentialism, “essentialism is the view that, for any specific kind of entity, there is a set of characteristics or properties all of which any entity of that kind must have. This view is contrasted with non-essentialism which states that for any given kind of entity there are no specific traits which entities of that kind must have” (
  • Ethnomethodology ” (literally, ‘the study of a people’s (folk) methods’) is a sociological discipline which examines the ways in which people make sense of their world, display this understanding to others, and produce the mutually shared social order in which they live. The term was initially coined by Harold Garfinkel in the 1960s. Ethnomethodology is distinct from traditional sociology, and does not seek to compete with it, or provide remedies for any of its practices” (
  • Immutable, “: not capable of or susceptible to change” (
  • Modernism, “Modernism encouraged the re-examination of every aspect of existence, from commerce to philosophy, with the goal of finding that which was ‘holding back’ progress, and replacing it with new, progressive and therefore better, ways of reaching the same end. In essence, the modernist movement argued that the new realities of the industrial and mechanized age were permanent and imminent, and that people should adapt their world view to accept that the new equaled the good, the true and the beautiful”(
  • Othering, “constitutive other (also referred to as othering) is a key concept in continental philosophy, opposed to the Same. It refers, or attempts to refer to, that which is ‘other’ than the concept being considered. The term often means a person other than oneself, and is often capitalised. The Other is singled out as different” (
  • Phenotypical, “The phenotype is composed of traits or characteristics [3]. Some phenotypes are controlled entirely by the individual’s genes. Others are controlled by genes but are significantly affected by extragenetic or environmental factors. Almost all humans inherit the capacity to speak and understand language, but which language they learn is entirely an environmental matter” (
  • Reifies, to regard (something abstract) as a material or concrete thing” (


Ng, R. (2003). Toward an integrative approach to equity in education. In P. Trifonas (Ed.), Pedagogies of difference: Rethinking education for social change(pp. 206-213). New York: Routledge Falmer.

Rains, F. (1999). Indigenous knowledge, historical amnesia and intellectual authority: Deconstructing hegemony and the social and political implications of the curricular “other.” In L.M. Semali & Kincheloe (Eds.), What is indigenous knowledge? Voices from the academy (pp. 317-331). New York: Falmer Press.

Regan, T. (200). An introduction to the study of non-western educational traditions: A philosophical starting point. In Non-western educational traditions: Aphilosophical starting point (pp. 1-23). Mahwah, N.J: Lawerence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

Tuhiwai-Smith, L. (1999).Colonizing knowledges. In Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples (pp. 58-77). London: Zed Books.