Friday, July 02, 2010

Culture in Special Education - Image of God

I have been refining my thoughts on what it means to bear the image of God. What are the fundamental human characteristics? 

God uniquely creates all humans each day.
All humans live in brokenness each day.
God requires us to carry each other through the brokenness each day.

Kalyanpur and Harry's describe a "posture of cultural reciprocity" (pp. 118-119) as a solution to communication problems with parents of special education students. It described treating all people like they bear the image of God. I thought of God creating me through being a reflective person. "In other words, first ask yourself, 'Why?'" (p. 118) When they tell me to find out about the culture of the person I am trying to help, I know I am asked to help. When they ask me to give of myself to aid the understanding of others, I know that is required of me. When through this process a good solution is found, a solution that will carry us all through the brokenness, I should not be surprised. As God uses us to create each other, we find a way to carry each other.

"If we seek to understand ourselves and the families who we serve at every intersection, however small, then the task will seem less onerous." (pp. 130 - 131) Carrying each other and allowing ourselves to be created is an everyday occurrence. Like having a posture of cultural reciprocity, it cannot just be used when needed. Each of us is unique, therefore it requires a lot of work to understand everyone we serve. We cannot ever be the same as anyone else, "but that we have the willingness to learn about and understand their experiences, that we are willing to understand how our own experiences have shaped us, and that we respect and accept these differences in our various experiences" (p.131) helps us carry and create each other every day.

Posted via email from Jim's posterous

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