High School History teacher and ACIS Group Leader, Susan Harvey, introduces us to Chimamanda Adichie’s essay, The Danger of a Single Story, and shares how she uses the lessons in her classroom.
Chimamanda Adichie’s poignant essay The Danger of a Single Story provides a fundamental reason to travel: to dispel the stereotypical notions we have of the “other.” These are the people who speak different languages and wear non-western clothing who are really much more like us than not. As a history teacher, I ask my students to write down what comes into their minds when I ask what a Middle Eastern person looks like, or a Frenchman, or a woman from Guatemala. Their stereotypical ideas are derived from single stories portrayed in the media. And while there may be an ounce of truth to them, chances are great that upon meeting those individuals, any preconceived notions my students have will rapidly fall away as if by magic. We can create understanding only when the “other” becomes “us.”