Sensoy and DiAngelo (2014) argue for alternative behavioral guidelines than those currently being used in many social justice courses. Their alternative is to silence or constrain privileged voices so that marginalized voices have ample space to be heard and taken seriously. This raises the concern that silencing any group of persons runs too great a risk of alienating them to the point where their mistrust of the “other” is exacerbated rather than assuaged. This response suggests that, instead of silencing or even constraining privileged voices in the classroom, we may want to move toward developing in students the attitude that all claims and assertions, especially those that society often accepts as true without question, must undergo critical scrutiny. If we can teach students that a well-informed belief is one that is continually subject to critical analysis, and we can guide them in developing and understanding that our social positionality leads us to favor certain views and perspectives over others due, in large part, to the inequity in our social structures, perhaps we can open our students’ minds to the value and worth of marginalized claims and views.
Response to Article
Özlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo, Respect Differences? Challenging the Common Guidelines in Social Justice Education
Peterson, B. A.
Scrutiny Instead of Silence. A Response to "Respect Differences? Challenging Common Guidelines in Social Justice Education".
Democracy and Education,
(2), Article 7.
Available at: http://democracyeducationjournal.org/home/vol22/iss2/7