Unraveling the Yarn: Self-Reflection, Critical Incidents, and Missteps Leading to Continued Growth as a Culturally Sensitive Art Educator
Teacher reflection has been shown to have a positive influence on educators’ professional growth. This article features the author’s autobiographical reflection on his eight years working at an elementary school within a predominantly migrant Mexican American community, with specific attention paid to his mistakes while implementing a lesson on the indigenous Huichol culture of Mexico. Through the author’s critical self-reflection, a number of common missteps in multicultural instruction are discussed, including the selection of lessons that call for shallow reproductions of cultural artifacts, the error of false assumptions of cultural homogeneity, and the culturally-insensitive practice of assuming privileged roles of academic authority that treat indigenous people as exoticized subjects unable to describe themselves and their lived experiences. The article concludes with a synthesis of lessons learned from the author’s errors, and encourages other educators to engage in similar teacher reflection to further their own growth as culturally sensitive educators.