Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Resources for evaluating power, privilege, values, and status

In Good Work: Ethics and Community Cultural Development with Children and Youth, Stephani Etheridge Woodson examines what it means to do "good work" with kids. I found the below resources valuable. I've done status mapping and value mapping, but I thought the matchstick autobiography was cool.

A few activities I use to tackle this ethical responsibility include:

  1. Status mapping

    Social Indentity Membership Status
    Primary Cultural affiliation
    Physical Ability/Disability
    Sexual Orientation

  2. Field work observing the performance of power and status

    Observe diverse sites, for example, the ASU gym and pool, a preschool playground, or a high-school basketball game. In each location, look for how social identities are performed and maintained. Look for status as related to those membership categories.

  3. Writing your own obituary

    Write your own obituary, putting into it all of your life‘s accomplishments, and include why you are proud of these accomplishments

  4. Matchstick autobiography

    In the space of time provided by one lit match (before you burn your fingers) give your autobiography to the class. What is most important that we know about you?

  5. Value mapping activities

    1. Design a crest and motto for yourself.
    2. Create digital “I am” poems.
    3. As I read each of the below statements, vote with your body, ranking your values on a continuum of “agree” on one side of the room and “disagree” on the other.
      • Spending time with my family is important.
      • It is more important to save money than it is to buy things I want, but don’t necessarily need.
      • Being physically fit is an important part of my life.
      • Creative time is important to me.
      • It is more important to be honest than to spare someone’s feelings.

Becoming competent culturally is a process of self-reflexive pondering, questioning and awareness of how power dynamics operate. I believe that CCD youth-focused practitioners have an ethical responsibility to acknowledge power, to understand how their own status operates in any given situation, and to be able to honestly address difference with children and youth.

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