by Nick Truxal & Heather Lyke
article 2 of 4
Choosing the Challenge
“The marriage of intellectual rootedness with artistic creation alongside cultural production makes [Dessa’s] work particularly meaningful for many students who want to think about an array of issues as they affect the body, our social and political presence with others, and how we build and develop community… It allows educators to cross boundaries, intellectually, artistically, and in praxis, encouraging students to inform study as they encounter the world: not sewn into neat and singular pockets of isolated subjects but rather as woven and entangled webs of knowledge and embodied experience.”
We like to lean on research at Third Eye Education, as well as to give voice to researchers whose work has not yet become widespread—boosting their influence to a wider audience. Yet, for this particular article in our series, however, it does not seem as necessary. Having hard conversations is hard. It is a tautology—a truism in itself. We’ve all had to come up with our key strategies for approaching hard conversations.
Of course, the choice each of us makes is personal, and each decision has its own benefits. However, if instead of directly addressing a hard conversation, one would prefer to discuss something external and therefore likely easier to broach, Dessa’s work is an effective way to still get to the roots of what students and staff have a need to talk about.
It removes the barriers that being personal can have, while maintaining most of the benefits that being personal involves.
Why have the conversations at all?
Because the content and skills we seek to teach aren’t always easy: avoiding them simply isn’t a choice that we can make. But if hard things are hard, we can accept the help of others, seek out appropriate supports, and embrace opportunities that present themselves, such as can be found in the work of Dessa.
Classroom Application Suggestions
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Third Eye Education posts weekly articles focusing on education and innovation.