I wasn’t really sure where he was going when he laid out the magazines and the magic markers, but then he explained that he wanted us to create posters to represent the different learning theories. Interesting, I thought, and I immediately picked up a National Geographic magazine and started flipping through it. Others in my group began discussing the main points about Cognitivism which lead to more ideas for pictorial representations. As I watched our poster come together, I was sure we’d have the best one. We’d managed to find all the right words and pictures we needed, and everyone in our small group had an equal hand in putting the pieces together. Then it was time to pull back together as a class and talk about all the posters, and I was equally impressed with the work of the other groups. That night was certainly not the first night I’d been impressed by the breadth of experience sitting around that room. I think that’s what I’ve enjoyed the most so far in my M.Ed. classes — the interaction among the students and different perspectives from walks of life different from mine.
My favorite poster was the one that depicted the first few levels of knowing presented in the WWK book, probably in part because I am really enjoying reading that book. I was surprised at the strong negative feelings others in the class had about the book. I recognize that this research is a bit dated, but I think we’d be naive to believe that we’ve eradicated silence from the world. I feel as though I’ve met silent women through the novels of Silas House, a contemporary author who writes about families in rural, southeastern Kentucky. My sister now lives in that same area in Kentucky and has described women she’s met who have probably “graduated” from silence, but who are now firmly in a received knowledge role where they wouldn’t think of questioning the way it’s always been done — why would you even want to? To an educated woman, it is troubling to think that there are still women who don’t believe they can think for themselves, but it would be a mistake — and would further restrict their voice — to deny their existence.