Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My Ethnocentrism

After reading this post of Jeff's, I commented there (and here):
Since it was I who brought up the spelling error in the first place, it is only fitting that I comment. The error of using American spellings over British spellings, which I didn't even realise until British-speaking friends pointed it out, revealed my ethnocentrism in a big way.
This blunder opened the way for classroom discussion (and we were only peer reviewers) about the need to examine our ethnocentric culture and the need for transparency and accountability.
I greatly valued that teachable moment, for in truth there teachable hours stemming from my insensitivity.
The discussions that came out of that error will help prepare citizens of the future. We can only imagine the cross-cultural challenges they will face...
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Kevin Sandridge said...

I always tell my students, mistakes are doorways to opportunity. I really can't see you actively electing to use one spelling over another. We work with what we know. True - it was a cross cultural effort, and perhaps this means that you should have had your feelers out for the many variations in spelling that exist between the British and American systems. Nevertheless, from this happenstance an educational experience was born. And we can all be happy about that.

Durff said...

And the salient point is - I did not. And I am transparent with all so we all can learn. The kids thrill in that they could teach me! (They always do, but i think this really brought it home to them) I hope many more open discussions happen with group this year (I have them again, sigh)