My positionality as a teacher: my testimony as educator with a global perspective

Jennifer P. Liegeot 

https://doi.org/10.25965/trahs.2978

When examining one’s positionality, it is impossible to ignore the outside influence of social institutions on personal viewpoints and opinions. My lived experiences from childhood to the present have helped me to realize the importance of giving marginalized groups a voice within education. From being an outsider to a new culture while studying in Spain to learning about the struggles of the indigenous peoples of Australia through personal narratives, my eyes were opened to the fact that marginalized groups are underrepresented in curriculums around the world. Experiencing various cultures and education systems around the world has given me a global perspective on how to implement an epistemically diverse curriculum in my classroom. An interdisciplinary educational approach would allow for various perspectives and ideas from different disciplines to come together in one classroom for a common goal of a well-rounded education for students.

Al examinar la posicionalidad de uno mismo (a) es imposible ignorar la influencia de institucionalizaciones sociales externas en los puntos de vista y opiniones personales. Mis experiencias vividas desde la niñez al día de hoy me ayudan a darme cuenta de la importancia de darle voz a los grupos marginalizados en la educación. El ser un agente externo en una cultura nueva cuando estudiaba en España, así como el haber aprendido de las luchas de los pueblos indígenas en Australia a través de narrativas personales, me ha abierto los ojos sobre el hecho de que los grupos marginalizados son excluidos en el currículum alrededor del mundo. El haber experimentado varias culturas y sistemas educativos alrededor del mundo me ha dado una perspectiva global sobre cómo implementar un currículum epistémicamente diverso en mi aula. Una perspectiva educativa interdisciplinaria permitiría que otros puntos de vista e ideas provenientes de otras disciplinas pudieran incorporase con otras, en un mismo salón de clase, teniendo una meta educativa común e integral para los estudiantes.

Lorsque l’on examine la positionnalité d’un individu, il est impossible d’ignorer l’influence des institutions sociales sur les points de vue et les opinions personnels. Les expériences que j’ai vécues depuis mon enfance jusqu’à aujourd’hui m’ont permises de réaliser l’importance de faire entendre la voix des groupes marginalisés au sein du système éducatif. Que ce soit en étant qu’étrangère à une nouvelle culture pendant mes études en Espagne ou en découvrant les luttes menées par les peuples aborigènes d’Australie, par le biais de récits personnels, j’ai pris conscience du fait que les groupes marginalisés sont sous-représentés dans les cursus, et ce, partout dans le monde. La découverte de cultures et de systèmes éducatifs différents à travers le monde m’a donné une perspective globale sur la façon d’intégrer un cursus épistémiquement diversifié dans ma classe. Une approche pédagogique interdisciplinaire permettrait de réunir plusieurs perspectives et idées issues de différentes disciplines au sein d’une même classe avec comme objectif commun celui d’offrir une éducation complète aux élèves.

Ao examinar a posicionalidade de um indivíduo, é impossível ignorar a influência externa das instituições sociais em seus pontos de vista e opiniões pessoais. As experiências que vivenciei desde a infância até o presente me ajudaram a perceber a importância de dar voz a grupos marginalizados no âmbito da educação. Essas experiências, que incluíram a imersão em uma cultura completamente nova enquanto estudava na Espanha e o conhecimento das lutas dos povos indígenas da Austrália por meio de narrativas pessoais, abriram meus olhos para a sub-representação de grupos marginalizados em programas curriculares em todo o mundo. O fato de ter vivenciado várias culturas e sistemas educacionais ao redor do mundo me deu uma perspectiva global sobre como implementar um currículo epistemicamente diversificado em sala de aula. Uma abordagem educativa interdisciplinar permitiria a integração de várias perspectivas e ideias de diferentes disciplinas em sala de aula em prol do objetivo comum de promover uma educação diversificada para os alunos.

Contents

Full text

Version PDF 268 ko

Introduction

One’s positionality is not only formed by lived personal experiences but is shaped by the social constructs that make up those experiences (Dahl, 2015; Herr & Anderson, 2005). While everyone has their own personal viewpoints and opinions, those opinions are formed by experiencing life within social institutions. As one researches, it is important to understand positionality and how one’s experiences have created certain perspectives throughout life. In this paper, I will share my experiences of joining clubs, growing up with education focused parents, studying abroad and teaching during a global pandemic and how they have given me the opportunity to explore my own positionality. In the first section I will cover some experiences from my childhood. Joining a club for students with disabilities allowed me to see the advantages of a classroom with multiple disabilities.

Parents with an education mindset opened to the door to the importance of higher education and becoming a life-long learner. In the later sections I will go over studying abroad in Spain at the age of sixteen and how it gave me my first taste of being an outsider in the classroom due to a lack of knowledge of the language and culture. Once in college I got the chance to study abroad in Australia which allowed me to study the lives of the indigenous peoples of Australia. Studying about marginalized groups of people opened my eyes to the importance of various viewpoints in curriculums in schools in order to give more than just the western viewpoint a voice. More recently, teaching during Covid-19 has made teachers around the globe rethink their classrooms and curriculums.

More than ever in this virtual world, we must focus on the decolonial turn and give all students and educators the chance to have their voices heard in an attempt at liberating marginalized groups in education. Interdisciplinary education is a way of bringing multiple disciplines together whether virtually or in person as opposed to having only one voice heard. My positionality has been shaped and created by my lived experiences over my lifetime leading me to the idea of an interdisciplinary approach to teaching as a way of focusing on decoloniality and bringing multiple viewpoints and personalities to my curriculum.

My Childhood in Perspective

Maldonado-Torres (2011) explains that decolonization is still happening in terms of knowledge and power from the western world. It is important that western culture norms and knowledge continue to be critiqued as being the sole viewpoint in the classroom. As a society, we must not allow the continued propagation of capitalism and racism and we must question what knowledge and whose knowledge continues to be taught and seen in classrooms. I agree that decolonization is still happening and needs to make its way to the curriculum and classrooms in public schools across the US. Questions about who is writing textbook material and what is getting published need to be raised in order to change the dialogue around what is being taught and discussed. In my experience, classrooms are a homogeneous environment with students of similar backgrounds and lacking diversity.

Note de bas de page 1 :

Best Buddies is a club at Unionville High School, Pennsylvania, United States, that provides activities for students with and without disabilities to come together and socialize and learn from each other. The club also organizes events for students to collaborate and work together in order to run an event or raise money for kids with special needs.

As a student, I was not involved with students of different abilities until I joined the club Best Buddies1, at fourteen, which opened my eyes to different needs and viewpoints in the classroom. Having the experience of helping students with schoolwork as well as socialization allowed me to see the diversity that is lacking across education as a whole. Maldonado-Torres (2011) makes a great point that decolonization is more than simply breaking away physically but should include breaking away in terms of knowledge and culture norms. There is a lack of decolonization in the classroom as seen by the lack of diversity in classrooms which are dominated by the western world’s culture and norms which circulate capitalism and racism.

In my experience, decolonization in terms of knowledge in the classroom is still in its early stages and we must start giving students the opportunity to express their viewpoints as well as listen intently to those around them. Takacs (2003) explains the importance of giving students the chance to question who they are and why they know what they know. Once students have the ability to listen to each other they will gain a better understanding of the views of others and respect those differences as opposed to simply tolerating them. I agree with Takacs in that students should be given the opportunity to reflect on what they know and their positionality about various subjects as opposed to the teacher simply stating his/her opinions. Everyone brings different views to a conversation and it is important that students understand their views have a place in the discussion. I began to understand the importance of various view points after joining Best Buddies and seeing students with varying abilities bring different opinions and viewpoints to the classroom. Having the opportunity to bring my experiences and differences to a classroom consisting of solely students who are different from me allowed me to see my positionality for the first time. Takacs (2003) discusses the idea that everyone has a different story and will bring that background to the classroom. Students should be given the chance to share their experiences and create dialogue amongst their peers, no matter their ability, instead of simply listening to the sole viewpoint of the educator or peers who may be just like them.

When giving students the chance to see their positionality through dialogue and various viewpoints, I believe narrative is an important way for students to tell their own stories while listening to others. Positionality is the idea that identity can change over time based on historical and social changes happening around the person (Kezar & Lester, 2010). Connelly and Clandinin (1990) discuss the importance of narrative and storytelling in education curriculum in order to develop one’s positionality. The authors argue that teachers and students must listen to each other’s narratives as part of the curriculum in a school because humans are natural story tellers. I agree with the authors that humans are natural story tellers and it is important to carry that through classrooms and the curriculum in schools.

If teachers and students use stories and begin to listen to each other it can enhance the learning environment in schools. After joining a club to help students of varying abilities, I found that learning about those students and how to help them came through listening to their stories and experiences as opposed to reading a textbook. Hearing other’s stories helps to put ideas together in order to create your own thoughts as opposed to reading about them in a textbook. Connelly and Clandinin argue that narrative should be an important part of someone’s educational experience as humans are natural storytellers. While trying to understand those with varying abilities and educational differences I found that storytelling and listening was the most beneficial way to begin to understand another way of life.

Impact of Social Institutions on my Educator Mindset

In my experience listening to others’ narratives was a vital part of my education and therefore my positionality because people gain knowledge through experience and socialization. Berger and Luckmann (1991) describe institutionalization and the idea that institutions are socially constructed throughout time based on knowledge acquired by different people through socialization. Humans gain knowledge based on the situations they encounter which then become their own personal reality. I agree with Berger and Luckmann that knowledge is acquired through socialization which is then passed down to future generations as truth. Growing up I lived in a house with educated parents who never questioned the idea of their children attending higher education institutions. While sitting at the dinner table each night the conversation would center around school work and my interests in order to further the discussion about college and continuing my education. Educational institutions were important in my house which through socialization became important to me as I grew up. The authors stress the idea that institutions are socially constructed and knowledge is passed down to future generations through socialization. As seen in my house growing up, education was an important institution that should be realized by everyone. I am now an educator as well as a lifelong student because of socialization from my parents about the importance of educational institutions.

My interpretation of my experience is that what we learn through socialization becomes our own personal reality but what we don’t learn becomes limitations in our positionality which must be recognized when doing research. Herr and Anderson (2015) discuss the idea that while writing action research it is important to understand one’s positionality and limitations within the research. According to the authors, an insider-outsider team approach to research is the best option to achieve equitable power relations. An insider-outsider team allows the researchers to understand their positionality either inside or outside the topic and collaborate with those in the opposite position on equal terms. I agree with the authors that positionality when looking at action research is important in understanding limitations. It is important to research and understand new topics while also understanding where I come from in terms of the subject and what limitations and biases I might bring to my research. My parents stressed the importance of education and I was able to gain a love of learning growing up. Although I have enjoyed my educational experiences thus far it is important to understand that I have always been taught the importance of education which could have affected my opinions. Limitations while conducting action research are just as important to consider as the research itself. Creating a team of individuals both inside and outside the subject would have a profound impact on the legitimacy of the research. Knowing where I come from and my positionality on the importance of education allows me to understand my views and how they affect my research.

Not only should we consider limitations in our own positionality when considering research but one’s narrative should also be highly regarded as part of the educational experience in the classroom. Dahl (2015) uses the stories of four Kenyan educators in order to explain the importance of narrative in education. The article explains that experiences from teachers’ lives are just as important as teacher training and those experiences and narratives should be used as ongoing professional development. I agree that narrative and telling stories is a valuable tool for teaching in the classroom. Teachers are human beings whose lives continue to evolve and change just like the students therefore their stories are valuable experiences that can be learned from in order to improve teacher professionalism. The value of education that was given to me growing up included the idea of becoming a lifelong learner; being a student never ends. I would watch my parents come home from work exhausted but always find time to read and research topics of interest to them. With the concept of consistent learning it is important to use new knowledge acquired along the way as a tool for improving my ability to teach. Dahl describes four Kenyan teachers on their path as educators to explain the importance of narrative being used in education. As a lifelong learner, I feel as though curriculum combined with a narrative of life experiences is a powerful combination for education.

Effects of Studying in Spain

In my opinion, narrative is an important addition to what is taught in classrooms because teachers are gatekeepers of knowledge for their students and their personal stories can add a different dimension to what is being taught from textbooks. Hung (2018) interviewed teachers in hopes of gaining an understanding of why teachers avoid discussing controversial topics in the classroom. He concludes that teachers are gatekeepers of controversial knowledge and they choose the safe knowledge that will be presented to their students. Teachers each have their own personal practical knowledge they have acquired throughout their life that plays a crucial role in how that teacher will approach controversial topics when teaching. Although I have not encountered having to teach a controversial topic in the classroom, I agree with Hung (2018) that personal practical knowledge will differ from person to person and have an impact on the classroom environment. Teachers need to understand their personal practical knowledge and where it comes from in order to better understand their positionality in the classroom. One of the most important parts of my personal practical knowledge as an educator comes from when I arrived in Spain at a bus station to study abroad and a police officer walked away from me because he could not understand me when I asked for help. My first few weeks in Spain were difficult as I did not speak the language and was unable to communicate with my host family, peers or teachers effectively. In another instance, I was ignored in a restaurant because the waiter could not understand my Spanish accent and he looked to my host mom as if I was not there. For the first time in my life I felt like an outsider which has given me the chance as an educator to understand how students may feel in my classroom when they arrive.

Another example I saw in Spain of outsiders in a classroom was the Moroccan students that attended the school. As Quijano (2000) states, coloniality of power is the idea that those who colonize will maintain power over those they have colonized. While studying in Spain it was apparent that the white, rich students were expected to attend college while the Moroccan students would grow up and work on the farms which sometimes led them to not finish high school. The lack of expectation for students to attend college based on skin color and culture was a clear indication of coloniality of power at work. The Moroccan students were viewed as outsiders in the classroom as opposed to valid members of the class community. My time in Spain has solidified the idea that personal practical knowledge is acquired throughout life and each person will differ from the next. While studying abroad I had the opportunity to try something new and be the stranger in a classroom. This opportunity has become a part of my personal practical knowledge and has helped me to make my students feel comfortable in my classroom as their educator.

While my experiences in Spain helped me to better understand how my students may feel when entering a new classroom, it is important to continue to critically look at education in the hopes of connecting what is taught to my students’ lives. I understand that my students may feel unwelcome based on previous grades, behavior or experiences and making them feel understood is my goal. Manfra (2009) discusses the differences between practical and critical action research and the implications each type of research has in education. Practical action research focuses on the individual classroom and practicality questions while critical action research focuses on social, cultural and political contexts of education. The author stresses the importance of a mix of both types of research with an emphasis on critical action research in order to improve educational structures and create a more democratic society. I agree with Manfra (2009) that both practical and critical action research should be used as an educator. Before studying abroad in Spain, I may have approached teaching with the purpose of improving my teaching and my classroom practices throughout the years.

After having lived in Spain and seeing how others live, I now have the goal of critical action research and connecting my teaching to the lives of my students. The idea of making connections to my students lives reminds me of the Moroccan students living in Spain and the differences they faced in the classroom. Not only were the students not expected to attend University but because of that expectation the teachers did not make meaningful connections with them in the classroom. Due to coloniality of power, Moroccan students were not engaged in the classroom like white students and lost the opportunity for a connection to the classroom and the curriculum. Manfra (2009) explains how critical action research can help change the structure of education and not just individual classroom issues. Having the opportunity to experience another culture and way of life has opened my eyes to critical action research and the idea that connecting socially, culturally and politically in the classroom will offer a better educational experience to all of my students.

My experiences have given me the opportunity to understand the importance of critical action research and connecting my curriculum to students’ lives but I must also keep in mind the continuum of positionality that can change throughout my research. Positionality is constantly changing and my views as an insider or outsider of research can go back and forth. Herr & Anderson (2005) explain the importance of positionality and the continuum that occurs while conducting research. The researcher is not strictly an insider or an outsider but can slide along the continuum throughout the research process. The authors also stress the importance of positionality as a social construct that is formed through human interaction throughout time. I agree with the authors that positionality is a social construct and it is important to understand one’s positionality when conducting action research. I also agree that positionality lies on a continuum and can change throughout the research process depending on the situation at hand. It is extremely difficult to look at one’s own environment from an outside lens. While studying abroad in Spain I was for the first time in my life an outsider to another culture. This experience gave me the chance to begin to understand positionality and what it means to be an insider or an outsider because for the first time I was an outsider. Although I was not able to understand how the Moroccan students felt in the classroom based on their skin color, I was able to understand the idea of coloniality of power and the importance of involving all students in the classroom discussion regardless of race. Herr & Anderson (2005) discuss the continuum of positionality and how one’s positionality can continually change while conducting critical action research. After studying in Spain, having experienced being an outsider to another culture, I began to understand how positionality is socially constructed and will be constantly changing throughout my life including research.

Australia and my Global Perspective

Not only was living in Spain important because it gave me a chance to feel what it is like to be an outsider, but it also gave me a chance to see things from multiple viewpoints from different regions of the world. Maldonado-Torres (2011) explains that decolonization was not solved by creating ethnic studies at universities and in reality, those programs were simply addressing social demands. The author also mentions the notion of shifting the geography of reason which explains that knowledge cannot be produced solely based on one viewpoint or one region of the world. When focusing on the decolonial turn it is imperative one looks at identity and epistemic positionality.

I agree with the author that when looking to decolonize education it is important that regions of the world and various viewpoints are not ignored. In order to better the education system it is important that curriculums focus on a decolonial turn and look at all ideas and philosophies from various languages and countries as opposed to only the western culture and norms. When studying in Australia at age twenty I took a class about the Indigenous peoples of Australia where we learned about their history but also looked at issues from their viewpoint. In one class, we took the day to walk around the city looking for carvings from the indigenous tribes and making impressions as to not ruin or destroy the carvings. As opposed to simply learning about the Indigenous tribes in Australia from a white man and a textbook, our professor gave us the opportunity to learn from what the indigenous tribes had made themselves from their point of view. Decolonization requires that western culture and norms are not so highly regarded and knowledge be produced from looking at multiple theories and philosophies from around the globe. Having the opportunity to study the indigenous tribes of Australia through carvings and personal experiences was a much more profound and decolonized than using a textbook and a detached professor.

Not only was finding carvings and exploring Australia a more hands-on way of learning about indigenous peoples but hearing their stories through narrative also helped in gaining an understanding of the indigenous tribes and their ways of life. Kramp (2004) explains the differences between paradigmatic knowing and narrative knowing in terms of conducting research. Paradigmatic knowing requires logical proof whereas narrative knowing allows the researcher to find meaning from the story for the one who experienced it. The author emphasizes the idea that narrative inquiry is about both the process of telling the story and the product of the story itself.

I agree with Kramp (2004) that narrative knowing allows the researcher to be more concerned with understanding rather than explanation and proof. Telling a story provides not only a plot but a point of view as well as emotion and experience. When completing the class in Australia regarding indigenous peoples, one of the most interesting and important parts of the lectures included guests from the indigenous tribes. Hearing first hand stories from people about their ancestors and ways of life was the most memorable and impactful part of the class. As opposed to simply hearing about the indigenous tribes from an oppressor viewpoint it gave me a broader understanding of their ways of life hearing from real people about real experiences. Narrative knowing can provide a more well-balanced approach to knowledge because stories can provide more than just fact and proof they can provide a plot with point of view and experience. Hearing from indigenous peoples about their ancestors and history in Australia was a more memorable and personal approach to learning about indigenous tribes than using a textbook created by non-indigenous peoples.

What I learned in Australia about the treatment and experiences of indigenous peoples parallels that of indigenous peoples in the United States and other parts of the world. With similar experiences occurring across the globe it is important that curriculums in schools become epistemically diverse. Fregoso and De Lissovoy (2018) explain the importance of an epistemically diverse curriculum as opposed to a western epistemological based curriculum in schools. In order to implement such curricula, the authors propose using decolonial literary works as a way to replace western modes of reason. I agree with the authors that a curriculum dominated by western culture and norms does not allow students the opportunity to see other viewpoints beyond that of the privileged. An epistemically insurgent curriculum proposed by the authors would help to radically change education and give a larger voice to marginalized groups rarely represented in education curricula. In my experience in Australia it was evident that the curriculum did not represent any viewpoint other than the white oppressor.

On day one of my indigenous people class my professor made it very clear he would not be following the textbook and would be presenting the class with help from guest speakers and indigenous peoples themselves. Although I did not know it at the time, my professor of indigenous studies was the face of decolonization. Without an understanding of narrative inquiry, my perspective of my experiences in Australia would be epistemically different. Though the professor was able to teach in the way he wanted by bringing marginalized voices to the forefront, the curriculum in general would not have allowed for such freedom of narrative. Fregoso and De Lissovoy (2018) describe an epistemically insurgent curriculum which gives a voice to otherwise marginalized and oppressed groups. My experience highlights the idea that curricula around the globe fail to be epistemically diverse and show a clear lack of diversity.

Teaching during a Global Pandemic

In order to successfully implement an epistemically diverse curriculum, new ways of thinking and teaching about totality and exteriority must be considered. Totality includes the system that exists created by those with authority or control and the exteriority includes those on the outside of the totality. Fregoso and De Lissovoy (2019) explain Dussel’s philosophy of liberation in which we must rethink the totality and therefore rethink what is being taught in schools to include ideas outside of the totality. The authors not only explain the importance of rethinking the totality but also that such liberation of the oppressed needs originality not imitation. New ideas and philosophies must be used in order to change the totality and we must not try to attempt to fold the oppressed or the exteriority into an already failing existing system; we need a new system all together. In my experience as an educator during a global pandemic, the totality of Covid-19 includes all of the rules and regulations now mandated because of the rapidly spreading virus. As educators, we have been forced out of our classrooms into an entirely new virtual classroom we create ourselves. Due to the stressful situation, educators that are part of the exteriority are deciding not to be part of the Covid-19 totality of online teaching and are choosing to quit their jobs instead of teaching online. Although I will not be leaving the teaching profession, the impact of Covid-19 has been powerful and life changing. Just as Covid-19 serves as its own informal totality, the global pandemic has continued to remind me as an educator to question the totality of western culture in education and realize the importance of liberating the exteriority whether I am teaching online or in person. Fregoso and De Lissovoy (2019) describe the importance of rethinking totality and exteriority in education through Dussel’s philosophy of liberation. With an entirely new totality in the works thanks to a global pandemic, educators now have a difficult responsibility to try to liberate through original means both in person and online.

As described by Dussel’s philosophy of liberation, imitating what already exists will not properly liberate the oppressed within the education system and I believe interdisciplinary education could be a means by which to begin to liberate. Cook-Sather and Shore (2007) describe interdisciplinarity and the importance of not only connecting disciplines but questioning the core of each discipline as well. In order to move away from the current educational structure in which each discipline remains separated, interdisciplinary education would promote the idea that the professor is not the sole authority and the professor and students continually learn from each other. The article asks the question of who has legitimate perspective into what constitutes knowledge which opens the door to the possibility of interdisciplinary education.

I agree with the authors that interdisciplinary education could promote free and inventive thinking between professors and students allowing each to learn from each other. With the opportunity for every person in the classroom to have a voice, interdisciplinary education could begin to break the structures of education and give a voice to marginalized groups. When a global pandemic hit this past year, every educator around the globe had to slow down and rethink their teaching strategies. I personally believe teaching in a virtual setting has illuminated the importance of interdisciplinary education. Without dialogue between all persons working and learning in a school setting, delivering a curriculum to students proved very difficult. In my experience, students have had to communicate more while learning online giving them more of a voice in the virtual classroom. I also feel as though more collaboration between educators in different subjects would help students learning from home. One example in particular was a collaboration between math and science educators including myself. The math teacher was looking for a way to teach water displacement. By collaborating with myself and some other educators, we were able to come up with examples using household items and various ideas from our own curriculums to help the math teacher execute the lesson. Teaching online has presented many new challenges to both new and veteran teachers but collaborating together to create a more interdisciplinary approach to teaching can help alleviate some of those challenges to teaching students at home. Interdisciplinary education combined with online learning can create an open forum for communication between students and educators potentially opening the door to liberation within education.

Moving Toward Interdisciplinary Education

Interdisciplinary education can be used as a tool in beginning to liberate the oppressed in education by opening communication and bringing multiple viewpoints and ideas to each subject and curriculum. Tight, Devlin, and Davies (2010) describe modification interdisciplinarity in which educators of various subjects come together to learn from each other in order to not only connect disciplines but change them as needed before bringing them together. Modification interdisciplinarity is described by the authors as a more extreme form of disciplinarity because of the idea that subjects need to not only connect but learn from each other and change in association with other disciplines. I agree with the authors that this form of disciplinarity is extreme and not yet common, but I also agree that it is necessary in a truly liberating education.

As an educator during a global pandemic this is more important than ever. Every single teacher around the globe is having to do something different with their classrooms and curriculum giving us unprecedented times in education. With the idea of modification interdisciplinarity we as educators would get the chance to bring our own positionality and knowledge to a discussion about not only our subject but other subjects as well. As one’s positionality is a social construct, I find it to be important that many viewpoints and ideas are used in each discipline as opposed to separating knowledge into categories. We have created our own ideas and positionality through social experiences, highlighting the importance of interdisciplinary education and using such knowledge for the entire education world and not one subject. The authors describe the entire continuum of disciplinarity including modification disciplinarity which in my opinion is extreme but needed in education today. Not only should subjects collaborate with various positionalities but in a new virtual world, now is the time to consider such a change.

Conclusion

My personal experiences throughout my lifetime have led me to examine my own positionality and what that means for me as an educator to young minds. I not only grew up in an education focused family, but I was given opportunities to travel and study in various places around the globe. Each time I traveled I was given a chance to learn a new culture and perspective on life through a different education system. As an educator, I now focus on continuing to be a life-long learner as well as embrace different ways of learning in my classroom. Based on my experiences I acknowledge the importance of various viewpoints and opinions and the impact that can have on creating an epistemically diverse curriculum in my classroom.

My testimony has led me to embrace the idea of an interdisciplinary educational approach which allows multiple disciplines and viewpoints to come together for a common goal. By bringing together multiple viewpoints there can be a focus on the decolonial turn in which more than just western voices in power are heard. Education is about more than simply telling future generations about ideas and facts; it is about challenging future generations to innovate and transform the world we live in, including everyone not just those in power. We cannot expect our students to revolutionize the world unless we as educators give them a voice and the knowledge to do so.