The Narratives of Millicent E. Brown and Josephine Boyd Bradley
Chapter 3. Pedagogy of Survival: Ordinary People with Extraordinary Lessons
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PEDAGOGY OF SURVIVAL
Ordinary People with Extraordinary Lessons
Everyone has a story, an experience or experiences, successes, and failures that serve as tools for teaching and helping someone else. Your perception of success or failure, succumbing to or prevailing over an experience is not the overall point. The lessons lie in how you navigated your circumstances, your thinking behind specific actions, the factors that influenced your behavior, and your belief—or even your disbelief—that you would be able to endure. Familial, cultural, and societal factors may have influenced, helped, or even hindered you. All of these variables make up one’s lived experience. Your story, like the narratives in this book, carries with it strategies that will help or encourage others, all which serve as your pedagogy of survival.
Many of us when sharing our story truncate our experience by disclosing only its outcomes, failing to share how we journeyed through a given situation. We often negate the doubts and fears we bore at the time or the self-motivation and perseverance required to survive events in our life. In a recent parent session, my opening activity required participants to identify a person who influenced their lives, someone who helped shape who they are today. The purpose behind the activity was first to support parents in opening up during the session and second to help them think about who may be currently influencing their child’s life. The parents not only shared openly,...
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