“Who do you exclude?” is also known as “Where do you belong?”
"What appear to be cultural units—human beings, words, meanings, ideas, philosophical systems, social organizations—are maintained in their apparent unity only through an active process of exclusion, opposition, and hierarchization. Other phenomena or units must be represented as foreign or 'other' through representing a hierarchical dualism in which the unit is 'privileged' or favoured, and the other is devalued in some way."Lawrence Cahoone (1996)
It is disconcerting to realise that to maintain that core notion of “belonging” – requires “an active process of exclusion, opposition, and hierarchization.” to exist. It makes me look at those New Zealand Key Competencies in a whole new way.
It seems that:
To feel like you are inside you must think of “the other” as outside.
To feel part of an organisation you must ensure “the other” is remote.
To feel accepted you must find “the other” to be rejected.
To feel in control you must describe “the other” as out of control.
To feel at one with nature you must make “the other” feel at two
I have been working away from home. Christchurch was full of fog and freezing – I exited the motel each morning dressed like “Cat Woman does the Antarctic - The sequel of the sequel” you know the one where the older, somewhat less nimble, but I hasten to add still formidable, Cat Woman is so tightly swathed in multiple layers of black wool that it is difficult for her to bend enough to sit down.
I made a friend in J my taxi driver whose fractured English was a damn site better than my fractured Korean. We spent each day wobbling tentatively through Christchurch’s rush hour traffic. We got repeatedly lost in the fog, overshot roads, had to do numerous U turns, got hooted at by large trucks wielding even larger airhorns, suffered the shared indignity of sexually explicit hand gesturing from our fellow Cantabrians, spent what seemed like twenty minutes each morning trying to get onto the roundabout on Main South Rd, travelled in the wrong lanes, at the wrong speeds, with the wrong indicators - all in a tiny white Subaru. And yet we always got to the destination in time. We bonded so well during these hazardous “othering” excursions that on Friday when I was gifted a container of Korean Xylitol chewing gum I felt real remorse that I had nothing with me that I could gift back.
I counted myself lucky to get out on the Friday night – with fog delaying flights out of Chrsitchurch airport I was made anxious at the prospect of extending my “other” status for yet another night. Still the whole thing made me wonder about the “othering” of taxi drivers and by default their passengers on our roads.
I have spent a lot of time this year building SOLO coded self assessment rubrics against task descriptors for NCEA and for the Key Competencies. Which led me to ask on the flight back to Auckland - Can the art of taxi driving be SOLO coded?
Can we think of the art of taxi driving in terms of the KeyCompetency: Language symbols and Text: Interpret and Use Movement to Make Meaning and the Key Competency Relating to Others: Communication?
Scribbling on the back of an envelope on the late night flight revealed the following
SOLO Coded Self Assessment Rubric for the Art of Taxi Driving
Solo Extended Abstract Taxi Driving
- I can hold forth on a political or personal treatise which is timed for the extent of the journey.
- I can adjust the ideas according to input from passengers.
- I can keep both the concept and the car on the road simultaneously and dont end up in the rough of either course. [From Janet]
- I can plan a taxi journey that captures the essence of a big idea
- I can drive in a way that communicates and responds to the other cars on the road
- I can drive in a way that convincingly communicates my individual interpretation of the big idea to the other cars on the road.
- I can balance listening and responding with the passenger.
- I can synthesize what has been heard and evaluate or elaborate in responses to others ideas offering alternative perspectives
SOLO Relational Taxi Driving
- I can plan a taxi journey that explains and elaborates several ideas
- I can drive in a way that convincingly elaborates several ideas
- I can communicate most effectively and explains ideas clearly to the passenger.
- I can actively listens to passengers and respond appropriately, reflecting a personal understanding of the viewpoint expressed.
SOLO Multistructural Taxi Driving
- I can plan a taxi journey that communicates several relevant ideas
- I can drive in a way that convincingly communicates several relevant ideas
- I can communicate ideas and relate sensitively to others.
- I can listen to the ideas of passengers and respond to them.
SOLO Unistructural Taxi Driving
- I can plan a taxi journey that communicates one relevant idea
- I can drive in a way that convincingly communicates one relevant idea
- I have limited verbal communication and listening skills
SOLO Prestructural Taxi Driving
- I can participate in a taxi trip
- I can drive a taxi
- I have poor verbal communication and listening skills accompanied by a lack of self-awareness of the impact of what I say on others.
I have taken a lot of taxi rides in the past five years and whilst I may be at two with nature J is easily an extended abstract taxi driver. I wonder what a rubric for being a passenger will look like?