Reflexive Paper – Week Five

RUNNING HEAD: Reflexive Paper – Week Five

HGED 615C: Reflexive Paper
Week Five
Iowa State University
February 14, 2008


  • To understand the power distribution within social world and how it is structured, will guide individuals to learn about oneself, and their respective identities (Ng, 2003; Dai, 1996).
  • Our social world consists of dynamic power relations (Dai, 1996; Shiva, 1993; Tuhiwai-Smith, 1999).
  • Frameworks exist within society to verify similarities as much as differences within our own identities (Dai, 1996).
  • Capitalistic overtones and materialism delineate the power relations creating a hierarchal society (Dai, 1996; Shiva, 1993).
  • Understanding and accepting the differences and similarities between social identities would create a holistic society free of oppression (Dai, 1996; Shiva, 1993).
  • Ignoring the problem, will increase the oppression (Dai, 1996).
  • Prior to being a social justice advocate, knowing your authentic self will give the direction to know what we need to do next to fight oppression (Dai, 1996).
  • Giving everyone a voice will strengthen the societal dynamics thus decreasing the hierarchal system and creating a “community of difference” (Dai, 1996; Shiva, 1993).


The reading by Dai (1996) is a piece which I could most relate to in respect to what I have been seeking within this course, and my lifetime. This is to find my self before looking to help others find their voice, and wisdom within the community. As a professional, I consistently was challenged to play the role of administrator, not knowing how to handle my own values. The values being those of someone who I consider a social justice ally. I always wanted to be voice for the oppressed, and to listen and learn from their experiences.

I knew I could not always be the voice.

I had to play the role of administrator out in the open, and only use my voice behind closed doors.

This process creating enormous amounts of compassion fatigue and stress, and it caught up with me as a professional. It is not easy to be – who you are – always in the role of administrator. It was a privilege being the voice for all students, when perhaps they are not given one within the community. It was also a curse, when the voice was not being heard by the administration, or the students in power positions.

The dynamic social relations, and taking on complex roles as an administrator is not something I was able to do without letting my own voice exist in the paradigm. I was lost, and needed to find my own direction.

Now, I think I have found it.


Dei, G. (1996). Chapter four: The intersections of race, class and gender in the anti-racism discourse. In Anti-racism education: theory and practice (pp. 55-74). Halifax, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing.

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.

Shiva, V. (1993). Monocultures of the mind. In Monocultures of the Mind: Perspectives on Biodiversity and Biotechnology (pp. 9-39). London: Zed Books.

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

Weber, L. (2001) Understanding race, class, gender, and sexuality: A conceptual framework (pp. 17-30, 61-109). New York: McGraw-Hill.