In my visual representation, I displayed the connections of family diversity and attitudes of society towards racism and family types within a school context. In beginning my representation, I began looking at the story “Framing the Family Tree” by Sudie Hofmann. It describes the dissonances that children face when doing class activities and assignments regarding families or members that may not be present in every child’s life.

I realized that this story connected with two more; “Brown Kids Can’t Be in Our Club” by Rita Tenorio and “Heather’s Moms Got Married” by Mary Cowhey. Both these stories discussed the issues of ethnicity, racism and other forms of family life. All stories resonate on the effects that these issues are having on children. Children begin to feel insecure, abnormal, alienated and inferior in comparison to their other classmates. Likewise, many of the teachers in these stories struggle to find ways to address these issues, along with finding alternative ways of teaching class material.

I chose my representation to be in the shape of a tree, to represent the ‘family tree’. It portrays how each family can be made up differently and each person within that family is unique. The images show both positive and negative issues that arise among families and in school life. I chose quotes from each of the stories that stood out to me. These quotes display what family is, the various tensions that arise for teachers and children in school, and the positive things being done to overcome these tensions.

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