Course 3, Week 5-Breaking Down Barriers

Cycle of Socialization
Cycle of Socialization

The activity we completed for this week’s action was to read Bobbie Harro’s chapter, the Cycle of Socialization. Below you will find my first Flipgrid post. I have not used a tool like Flipgrid before where we make and watch others’ video clips. I especially appreciated how easy it was to make a recording. While watching others’ videos, the next video would start playing making it a quick and easy transition by not having to select the video myself.

Fear. …people who conform minimally receive the benefit of being left alone…Our silence is consent.


I can foresee using Flipgrid with my students to encourage conversations and discussions. Most grade three students enjoy videoing themselves and watching their peers’ videos. They like to make positive comments for feedback, too. I could provide the prompt or activity and have the students respond or reflect through a Flipgrid. Although this was my first, the students have used Flipgrid before with their classroom teacher. Most of my special educational needs students struggle with writing so this platform will make the process easier using videos instead of writing.

My practice

My reading on diversity and social justice will impact my practice. Harro’s chapter helped me to see and be more aware of the different social identities. From here on out, I will remember to be mindful of my students in the targeted groups and the agent groups. I will question myself: Am I showing bias? Am treating my students equitably? Am I giving or taking away their power? Am I being a good role model?

My social identity

I identify as a middle-aged, white woman raised in poverty in the south-eastern United States. My social identities set me off on a path as a young adult and somehow I landed where I am now. If I knew then what I know now, there were so many other opportunities I could have explored. Choosing teaching as a profession is so typical for a woman. My children are my greatest achievement. That being said, getting married at 18 and having babies at 20 (just like my mother and grandmother) was not necessarily the best decision for our futures. Luckily my kiddos have chosen to break this cycle that kept us in poverty. I share all this personal information because those struggles are what I believe shaped me into this middle-aged, white woman I am today. My start in life could have been easier if I was a member of more agent groups; however, like every coin has its flip side, my start could have been much worse.

I am the accumulation of all my life experiences, shuffled together with my agent and target memberships. I can empathize with my students. I can appreciate my colleagues. Harro’s article resonated with me on a deep level. Harro shared information I “can’t not know it anymore.” I see the power imbalance in my workplace, for example. I am one of those silent bystanders who “conform in order to receive the benefit of being left alone.” I do not argue with my administrators when I believe my students or I am being treated unfairly. I may ask a question but when I am not favorably listened to, I stop. I cannot afford to be a troublemaker. At least, I am not willing to risk my job by challenging those in power. No promises but I realize I need to try harder and I will try harder to make a difference.

our community Flipgrid discussion on the cycle of socialization

This week we explored technology tools we can use to collaborate and share ideas. We dove into the content-the cycle of socialization, using the tool- Flipgrid, while we practiced the visible thinking trend-Text Rendering Protocol. Please join our community discussion by following the link to our community Flipgrid

One thought on “Course 3, Week 5-Breaking Down Barriers”

  1. Dear Holly,

    Indeed, Flipgrid is very easy to use and I can see how it can be a great tool to use with different age groups. Like you, I never used it before, but kept hearing about it in the past months as it became an important tool during Distance Learning around the world. It is great you are planning to use it with your third graders: I can only imagine how they will indeed enjoy this process and how they like leaving positive comments.
    What about asking them to also leave a meaningful comment on one area where their classmate could improve? Maybe not the first time around, but once they had a chance to already use Flipgrid?

    Harro’s Cycle of Socialization was indeed a very interesting read which also made me think and reflect on where I stand now, and what my “profile” had been since I was born, besides the obvious (caucasian cisgender woman). Thanks for sharing some personal details on your life to make us understand these concepts better. Without knowing all the details obviously, I believe you started the process of breaking free from the Cycle of Socialization at some point as you find yourself teaching in Russia, and helping your own kids to have a different start in adulthood. I loved how you said you will try harder to make a difference. Here again, this is a reminder for us, educators, that we can, and should try.

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