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On Thursday, September 14th, at ArtEZ in Arnhem, the play "Advising the Disadvantaged" delivered a powerful and poignant performance about the profound impact of over-advising on children's lives and the crucial role that education professionals play, or should play, in this matter. This performance went beyond mere words; it allowed the audience to feel and understand the emotional core of this issue.

The reactions during and after the show attested to the impressive nature of the performance. It was as if you could truly feel the stories from within, making the viewer directly connected to the characters and their struggles. The discomfort the performance evoked ensures that people continue to contemplate the issue because it underscores the need to address educational inequality.

One of the most inspiring responses was the decision to bring the entire team to the performance. This demonstrates that education professionals are willing to hold up a mirror and confront the 'ugly' to improve education, although not every white teacher seems ready to acknowledge their role in educational inequality. This is something that Sandra van Kolfschoten, one of the initiators, is the only one brave enough to say, after which an uncomfortable silence ensues. A silence that is precisely necessary to truly feel how uncomfortable, painful, and recognizable educational inequality is.

Fortunately, the performance also provided moments of levity, demonstrating that there is always room for hope and humor, even in the most challenging situations. "Advising the Disadvantaged" not only exposed the problems of over-advising but also emphasized the potentially transformative power of awareness and action. Encounters with individuals who have changed lives underscored the positive influence educators can have when they provide the right support.

This performance reminds us that we all have a role to play in creating a fairer education system, and it is worth exploring the depth of this theme, even when it is uncomfortable, whether in vocational education, higher education, or university settings. It is a wake-up call for everyone involved in education and addressing educational inequality, showing that change is possible when we collaborate and are willing to take action.

The "Advising the Disadvantaged" project concludes with this performance, but if you have things to share about advising the disadvantaged, your experiences, or things you observe happening, they are always open to contact!

#advisingthedisadvantaged #artez #whiteteachers #educationalinequality #togetherforequality

Author: Amber van den Heuvel. Alumni Artez Bear & Studentambassadeur Arnhem Studiestad

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