I apologize, I posted my previous post before carefully reading
yours. As you can see I share some of the same thoughts about the
relationship between Power and Authority in this situation. I see
Barb as trying to create the conditions where she and Annallee can
create something together and the precondition of doing this is to
try and break with, as you so clearly say, the script that comes
along with being a teacher.
At 10:53 AM 2/8/2007, you wrote:
>Carrie, I really like the piece and would like to share it with a
>fieldwork class of mine where we are working on using journals as
>places for reflection as well as documentation. More importantly,
>this captures many of the issues about power and solidarity that I'm
>trying to analyze and that I struggle with in my relationships with
>students as well as my children.
>There is a struggle between Barb and Annalee and within each of them
>that reflects the power they actually have and that they wish to
>have. Annalee desperately wants to master the task of opening the
>door herself; she wants autonomy and competence, and the two really
>are inseparable. Barb struggles with her role as the powerful
>one--the authority--not only, I think, because of the hurried NY
>lifestyle but because of an agenda set somewhere that walking down
>hallways and opening doors are trivial, and she's "supposed to" set
>an agenda that will socialize this child into the world of adults.
>Barb so beautifully recognizes some aspects of this. She sees that
>this task is not trivial for Annalee and that building solidarity
>was more important. Barb uses her own power as the teacher to give
>Annalee the power to set the agenda. I think that what Barb
>accomplishes is to convince Annalee that she's on her side, not
>because she knows what's best, but because she wants to
>collaboratively set agendas and accomplish tasks. She transforms a
>power struggle into a moment to learn about cooperation. Barb
>changed as she stepped outside the role of teacher/adult as
>typically scripted and Annalee changed as she discovered that some
>help could be accepted without diminishing her role in an activity.
>Maybe all this is obvious, but I'm grateful for the chance to
>describe it in the terms I'm thinking with.
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