Reflexive Paper – Week Six

RUNNING HEAD: Reflexive Paper – Week Six

HGED 615C: Reflexive Paper

Week Six

Laura Bestler-Wilcox
Iowa State University

February 21, 2008


  • The context of popular culture, media, publicity, and the hidden curriculum all attest to how the image of an institution may be portrayed differently by whoever views it (Byers, 2005; Curry, 2000; Hudak, 2005; Margolis & Romero, 2000).
  • The Western culture plays a role in how assimilation occurs even without it being at the forefront of the campus environment (Curry, 2000; Ng, 2003; Shiva, 1993).
  • Dismissing how individual perspectives and imposing the dominant culture maintains the power structure (Curry, 2000; Shiva, 1993; Tuhiwai-Smith, 1999).
  • What it is in reality versus how it is portrayed are conflicting illusions instructing us to change in order to conform to the norm (Hudak, 2005; Shiva, 1993).
  • The programs and services developed to help the struggles of the underrepresented may only contribute to the problem by continually constructing power relations and taking away the individual’s voice (Margolis & Romero, 2000; Ng, 2003; Razack, 2000).


The image of higher education is portrayed by what is comfortable by society. It is not portrayed realistically. Everything is siphoned through various controls to ensure that the goodness is what is allowed out to the public, and not the realistic view. Having been a part of the dominant culture on campus, and how the information is shared is regrettably one of the most difficult things to do as an administrator. It is more difficult when the information being shared is not your own personal moral viewpoint on the matter at hand.

Instead, I had to play the game of what would be accepting of society. It does not mean it was right. It does not mean, I did not voice my opinion to my supervisors. It means, I was unable to speak the truth to the students I was working for and the community I was representing on campus. Not an easy task.

My question is – how on earth can I keep myself from having to be put in that situation again – where, I am comfortable with all views of the problem? How can I ensure that students interests are kept at the forefront instead of how it will impact the money that can and will be made by the institution?

Not easy…


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.

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

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.

Byers, M. (2005). Those happy golden years: Beverly Hills, 90210, College Style. In S. Edgerton, G. Holm, T. Daspit & P. Farber (Eds.), Imagining the academy: Higher education and popular culture (pp. 67-88). New York & London: RoutledgeFalmer.

Curry, M.J. (2000). Preparing to be privatized. In E. Margolis (Ed.), The hidden curriculum in higher education (pp. 175-192). New York: Routledge.

Hudak, G. (2005). On publicity, and transformation: Images and recruitment in teacher education brochures. In S. Edgerton, G. Holm, T. Daspit & P. Farber (Eds.), Imagining the academy: Higher education and popular culture (pp.179-194). New York & London: RoutledgeFalmer.

Margolis, E., & Romero, M. (2000). “In the image and likeness…” In E. Margolis (Ed.), The hidden curriculum in higher education (pp.79-96). New York: Routledge.

Razack, S. (2000). Introduction: When place becomes race. In S. Razack (Ed.), Race, space and the law: Unmapping a white settler society (pp. 6-17)