Connection to the heart of learning.

One striking realization from class was the fact that humanity is driven by intellect, but what is even more significant is humanity’s connection to the heart. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in data and facts that we lose sight of the very thing that make us human, our ability to love, to connect. “Behind the ice mask I see my own eyes.” (Anzaldua, pg.70) We can all become so numb to such a big part of us that we lose what is real. The whole idea of how much we all hide and avoid the uncomfortable narratives that frames us. The whole concept that we seek comfort within what we are told and what we know, but when faced with different thoughts and other world-views that can change our ideas we can push back with fear, distrust, create walls. I realize this can apply to pedagogies that cross any field, since all fields have areas that are all interconnected, as we all are.  In order to break down these walls, these masks, educators must be first aware that these exist. We must be willing to take the steps in order to create a classroom environment where everyone can be welcomed to take down their mask.  “There are many defense strategies that the self uses to escape the agony of inadequacy and I have used all of them.”  (Anzaldua, pg.67)  Within her book Anzulda describes putting up her wall in a way that speaks to the core of the being, to the demons we all carry inside. These themes can relate throughout a classroom and an educator must come in knowing each student may not be ready for these engaging learning experiences. What we can offer is an authentic teaching experience that is done with the goal of allowing the class to discover new ideas and concepts within the classroom, and allow the student to begin to experience the concept of togetherness that can allow the class to feel and engage in honest and open dialogue without feeling the threat of fear. We can hope that the student will realize these truths in their own time. This may be an uncomfortable and strange feeling, as it was for me entering the classroom. Current structures, ideologies, narratives, etc. that currently influence one’s capacity to enact a passionate pedagogy are inspired by so many before us. We just have to seek it out..

Anzaldúa, G. (2012). Borderlands/la frontera: The new mestiza (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lute Books.

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