Paige Doud

Elementary Education Student at the U of R

Single Stories and Biases

I grew up in a small town in a white, Catholic family. I was with the same 17 people I graduated with from Kindergarten to Grade 12. So, I think of my upbringing and schooling as very different from others. In my school, there was limited clubs and sports for students and therefore, there was a definite hierarchy. Classes were often divided between the hockey players and the non-hockey players. In fact, I never knew until I was in my first year of university that high schools in bigger cities had a school band. That being said, there was also a lack of diversity in my school. Almost all students were white, there was very little to no students with disability, and content (in younger grades) was generally based on white, heterosexual characters. In high school, our content was slightly more diverse. But, the books we read about other cultures and races were limited. We got a few elders and residential school survivors to speak to our school. There were also many other groups that came in to talk about cultural diversity. But, while we did discuss different cultures and races, we did not talk about LGBTQ or disabilities.

My eyes were opened when I began attending the University of Regina. I have learned so much about things that I never had the opportunity to learn or experience in my small-town school. Ever since taking education classes at the University I have been taking steps to understand more about things I never experienced before. As a teacher, I will work to not let what I grew up around influence how I will teach my students. I will always question and challenge any biases I may have in my life and that is part of how I can work against them. I have learned so much and will continue to learn so I can work to be the best teacher I can be.

6 Comments

  1. I also grew up with the same kids in class throughout K-12, it makes it hard to find new perspectives! I come from a small town and a small school, so I also had limited clubs (although that was probably just from lack of teacher availability rather than hierarchy). When you’re a teacher, will you try to implement diverse books and subjects to talk about? How will you go about doing something like that?

  2. I had a similar schooling experience as you and I can agree that it was definitely very eye-opening and different transitioning to university. I think you made a good point about how important it is for always continue to acknowledge your biases and questioning why you have them in order to overcome them.

  3. I think that’s really important to acknowledge, the fact that you want to learn from the mistakes of your schooling grown up to give your future students a more rounded and informed education. One thing to consider is thinking about how you will challenge those biases. How will you know when your lessons lean one way or another? Will you check with your students and have in class debates? Or will you do research outside of school to make sure you are teaching from both perspectives and not just one?

  4. I was in this similar situation. I grew up in a small town, graduated with the same people I went to school with from K-12 and there was also very limited sports and clubs. I totally agree with you that university has opened your eyes because it has opened mine too. Living in a city and going to a big school you are able to tell how difference and diverse it is from a small town.

  5. I did not come from a small town, but I can relate to many of the things you listed. The more I have taken education classes, the more I am understanding about the importance of culture and diversity. I am curious about the things you have learned so far that you say you had never experienced before? I am looking forward to reading more of your blog posts and would suggest making more detailed personal connections to what you have experienced. I am glad you are learning so much from this course!

  6. Hi Paige!

    What are some specific ways in which you will work against the biased, when you teach?

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