Professor An begins with a fictional story about Jackie, a 10-year old Asian American girl, who wants to become the President of the United States of America some day. Quite often though, her friends often discourage her, saying things like:
"You are a girl”
“You are Asian”
“Your parents cannot even speak English”
“You are poor”
“You are ugly with burns on your face”
“You don’t believe in God”
“You eat smelly strange food,”
“SO you will never be Our President. Nobody wants you as the President of Unites States!”
Professor An asks her preservice teachers, “How can you encourage Jackie?” Many heroic figures introduced in the textbook are white and male, people with whom Jackie may barely associate herself. Professor An urges them to take different points of views, though which the preservice teachers vicariously experience marginality or isolation minority students experience daily in and out of school. This perspective-taking excercise shows how the Ten Questions can be applied at an elementary level. The Ten Questions originally target high schoolers, but Professor An has expanded the scope of application down to the fifth or sixth grade. Interestingly, Professor An’s perspective-taking method can be inversely adapted to junior and senior high school levels, too. Click here to go back to the student projects.
Please check the slideshow below for more details on the project.