“We as a faculty not only are teaching and preparing our students to be leaders in the world, but want them to know they are seen, valued, and heard in our classrooms. We want them to know that this is not just a safe space but it is also a brave space.”
-Sarah Spann, Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator
This week’s theme is all over the news, but has always been at the heart of our school’s mission: teaching/learning with diversity/equity in mind. Many old-new words coalesce in this landscape: multicultural education, culturally relevant/culturally sustaining education, teaching toward social justice, and perhaps the new favorite: anti-racist pedagogy. If you are like me you’ve been receiving idea after idea and resource after resource in relation to these aims and that can get overwhelming. Here’s a short list of some of our favorites:
A thing to read:
- Want to know more about fostering the brave spaces (Arao & Clemens, 2013) that Sarah mentioned in the quote above? Check out the latest on the i2 blog from Linda Rodriguez, entitled “Safe Spaces are Not Enough”.
- Got just a few minutes? Check out this short piece from Independent School magazine article: Research Insights: Black Girls’ Experiences in Independent Schools
- In for a longer haul? Consider searching out Zaretta Hammond’s book Culturally Responsive Teaching & The Brain, an accessible dive into the science of how the brain learns best and how educators can support their students’ achievement.
A thing to listen to:
- Cult of Pedagogy Podcast
- Listen to this interview with Dr. Earkins for a compelling argument for Why White Students Need Multicultural and Social Justice Education or
- Get some practical strategies for improving your teaching practices with an eye toward diversity from Hedreich Nichols in Are Your Diversity Strategies Missing the Mark?: Nine Ways to Get it Right
A thing to watch:
- Explore the disparity in educational opportunities in Teach Us All, a documentary currently streaming on Netflix.
A thing to use:
- Skim this list of 35 Top Picks: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Resources for Classrooms
- Get some lesson plan ideas from New York Times: Teaching Ideas and resources to help students make sense of the George Floyd Protests
A thing to subscribe to:
- Teaching Hard History Podcast
- Teaching Equity Podcast (Check out this episode for some tips on dealing with conversations about race in classroom spaces)
A thing to do:
Check your syllabus, required texts, textbooks, or curricula with an eye toward the question: “Whose voices, histories, and production of knowledge are represented/valued? Whose are not?” Then, add in a new text/resources/topic into your syllabus or plan for the fall to broaden the perspectives represented in your course.
FACULTY RECOMMENDATION OF THE WEEK (Featuring Ruthie Taylor!)
This spring, in community with the Millsaps College Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center’s group for educators, I read Dr. Bettina Love’s We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom. Weaving together history, memoir, critical theory, and pedagogy, Dr. Love advances the argument for “an abolitionist pursuit to educational freedom,” and abolitionist teaching “built on the creativity, imagination, boldness, ingenuity, and rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists to demand and fight for an education system where all students are thriving, not simply surviving.” This text pushed me to examine the systems and structures of education and myself as an educator, and how we uphold and perpetuate white supremacy and harm Black students, Indigenous students, and Students of Color. Simultaneously, it taught me about and called me to radically imagine education that supports and uplifts all students. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. You can learn more about Dr. Bettina Love’s book and work at her website and through the Abolitionist Teaching Network.