Plurality and Singularity: A Lesson on Otherness


The universe within each of us.  Otherness.  Plurality.  It is not only without, or beyond us, it is within us.  We are all carefully woven tapestries of distinct individual threads of different colors, fabrics and textures.  Who are you? someone asks.  I am...

I am a color, a religion, a gender, a nationality.  I am where my mother’s family came from.  I am where my father’s family came from.  I am how I was raised, where I was raised, when I was raised, by who I was raised, who I was raised with.  I am my family, my community, my country.    I am my life circumstances.  I am my actions and my beliefs.  I am my interests, my passions, my talents.  I am the culmination of all my choices.  

Do these all neatly fit into a singular category?  That you can say this is where you belong and that is where you don’t?  Obviously not, however we try to do that all the time.  It is so far beyond round peg, square hole.  That is a reduction of who we are into something one dimensional, flat.  We are multidimensional and full of complexity and plurality.  We are a cosmos in ourselves.  Perhaps when we can embrace the diversity inside of us, we can embrace it around us and perceive that it is this creative and brilliant mix of what life offers and what we do with it.  That every one of us is singularly plural, a unique work of art with a purpose and a meaning to our lives.  This is what school should be about: making sense of our own universe and how our universes overlap and criss-cross in multiple layers of beautiful complexity.  That we are multiple, we are diverse.  And, all the while, we are one. 


Image Source: Diversity by Nadine Elhadidy
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To transform education in order to move humanity forward to face the challenges of the 21st century, increasingly globalized world in a collaborative, creative, critical, connected and caring way.

The founder and primary contributor to Education for Contemporary Times is Sarah O. Weiler, long-time educator with a M.A. in Global Education from the University of Illinois and a M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Education at the prestigious Institute of Education at the University of London in the UK.
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