Video conference with a US expert-“Human Differences: a self-created misnomer or occurring reality?’”

Posted by on Nov 6, 2017 in School News | Comments Off

Differences are integral to the life of homo sapiens. No two human beings are physically, emotionally and psychologically born alike. Asymmetry is one of the chief characteristics of existence which adds value to all forms of socio-cultural, political and economic interactions. These differences have a natural orientation and cannot be done away with, which adds to the beauty of human life.

However, in our day to day interactions, we witness on a wider palette. These are differences which are self-created by human beings themselves, to enable peculiar kinds of hierarchy and stratifications. In the light of this, our The School in association with Microsoft conducted several programmes as a part of a five-week long workshop.

The world is full of manmade walls and boundaries which begin from the individual and extend across countries. We believe in racial, cultural, ethnic and gender superiority of one over the other. The project’ Human Differences’, started by Ms. Tammy Dunbar in the US, deals with such notions. Ms. Tammy Brecht Dunbar is an M.Ed. and teacher at both a school and a teacher training college. She was named the 2016 California Woman of the Year in her district.

The class XI humanities students of our School underwent a 5-week session, filled with
activities. In the first week, we had a discussion of the topic ‘Human Differences: Do they really exist?’. The next week was a creative one, where the students scripted and presented a play on gender and the differences emanating from gender affiliations. Students showcased the plight of women in Indian rural societies and how men wanted to create a threshold for themselves full of domination, superiority and subjugation of the opposite sex.

In the weeks that followed, the students engaged in creative activities like poster- making, poem recitations and specially conceived behavioural games which taught the the importance of letting go of deep-rooted notions and creating bridges in place of walls.

On 24th October, 2017, students got a chance to have video conference with Ms. Dunbar who was full of enthusiasm, energy and smiles! The skype session began with greetings from both sides.

The discussion started with our students presenting their views on the subject of human differences. They came to the conclusion that such differences are manmade and act as a hindrance to the progress of societies. They segment society on the basis of religion, gender, caste and class. It was unanimous that these are to be done away with and initiatives should be taken to create an egalitarian society.

Students offered their views by turn. During the 40 minute session the students’ perception evolved as they brainstormed with Ms. Dunbar on how we can apply to take this project a step further.

Several questions were raised by students which included-what made her start this project, how she came up with the idea of working to unite societies and how far her initiative has reached. She answered all questions happily and described the journey of the project and how more than 50 schools from 37 countries have joined the initiative to bring a change in the world we live in.

The session restored the belief of the children, in the basic goodness of human nature, to want to correct where humankind has strayed. The speaker was a role model for our children as they grow to become citizens of tomorrow.

Ms. Sukhmeen Kaur Cheema.

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