Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Summer assessment course

Per Dr. Kraus' visit tonight, your summer course will meet May 18-June 26 on Wednesday nights. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Promising Practices Keynote

Here is a link to the keynote address from the Promising Practices conference held at RIC in November 2014.  Gabe referred to it tonight in our discussion...

Thanks for a fun night in class!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Final Projects for SED 561

All semester we have been reading about new ways to think, new ways to frame, new ways to reflect, new contexts to consider, new issues to contemplate in order to better approach our teaching as a reflective practice.  Lilia Bartolome (1999) suggests that in order to improve the teaching and learning in our classrooms, we need to get beyond the “methods fetish” and instead, “shift our perspective” to look to the social and cultural contexts in which we teach. She argues that

“…a necessary first step in reevaluating the failure or success of particular instructional methods used with subordinate students calls for a shift in perspective — a shift from a narrow and mechanistic view of instruction to one that is broader in scope and takes into consideration the sociohistorical and political dimension of education…” (176)

Per her charge, our course has taken a largely theoretical approach, pushing us to have conversations about how we see teaching, learning, our students and ourselves.

For the final project in SED 561, I want you to make theory into practice.

Your final assignment for this course has two parts:
    1)  PROJECT (see below)
    2)  PRESENTATION (6 minutes and 40 seconds in Pecha Kucha format, followed by 10 minutes of discussion — see resources in sidebar of this blog)

Create something new/revise something old.  (De)design a lesson, unit, or curricula of some kind that reflects the work we have done this semester.  You can use the Rethinking Schools website (or any other resources you find) for ideas if you want, or create something from scratch.  Be true to your content area, and design something that takes into account the issues of privilege, power and difference we have discussed this term. Or revisit something that you know you could do better now that you know what you know. 

Reimagine the WAY you plan, prep, organize, connect, evaluate, discipline, assess.  This option is about the HOW, rather than the WHAT.  Write up a new action plan that explains what you used to do, what you plan to do differently, and why drawing from our course texts and discussions.

Teach others about what we have learned.  Create a PD for colleagues that helps them take the things we have learned this semester into their own classrooms. Be specific and focused in this option — no one can learn everything in an hour so be selective and what the share and how.

Look inward.  Write about who you are as a teacher and how the things we have read this semester influence how you think about who you are and who you want to be as a teacher. Think of this as a Teaching Philosophy, or a Statement of Pedagogy.

Show me what you know.  Use any format you want to take our course material and make it real for you and your students.

In all of these options, I want you to be able to demonstrate the following: 
-->  Knowledge of and fluency in at least 4 of our course texts
-->  Self reflection (lots and lots of “I” voice)
-->  Connections to your day to day teaching life

You can demonstrate these core tenets of our course in a reflective writing piece that accompanies your project or in the text of the project itself.  Feel free to use multimedia options (powerpoint, video, blog, photographs, or other creative designs) as you pull together your ideas.  I really hope that you can find a way to approach this so that it does not feel like busy work for me, but instead is cumulative, reflective work for you to get something concrete out of this seminar.  Make it real for you.

Email me with questions, ideas, or wonderings...  :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Community Addendum

Read this tonight after our discussion about community...  worth the 2 minutes it will take to read it.

Heart warming.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Identity Addendum

In reflecting on the videos that Brittany brought to us last week (I used Daniel Beaty in my YDEV class on Thursday, btw!), I just wanted to share two others short video clips on identity that I have recently discovered.  More food for thought...

What Kind of Asian Are You? 

Kai Davis, F--- I Look Like

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Virtual check in... Weather Metaphor

I had a blustery morning...  Wednesday are always a bit windy as I get a little time at home with Micah and don't leave the house until 10.  Rarely, but occasionally -- today, for example -- that fun Mama-Micah time ends with a small, but powerful rainstorm as a two year old unhinges himself from his favorite plaything and watches her drive off to work.  It took a while for the clouds to clear my head as I came into work.  But my ALLIED class from 12-2 was bright light through the clouds as we shared very intimate conversations about identity.  Looking forward to finishing he day here with all of you...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Danger of Silence

Hi folks,

Per our conversation(s), I thought you would appreciate this short TED talk from an amazing teacher/poet, Clint Smith.  Worth your 4 minutes and 22 seconds.

Have a good week!

See you Wednesday...

LB :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Notes on Armstrong and Wildman

Key Take Aways:

  • (68) We have to notice.  Don't be afraid to see race.  This article gives us permission and language to use when talking about race. This article gave concrete examples about HOW.
  • (67, 73) Not enough to Notice but also to acknowledge the privilege associated with it
  • (68)  Provides vocabulary for teaching across racial lines.
  • (73) Looking for the Me -- helps build bridges
  • (66) Not the responsibility of students of color to talk about race
  • (76) No magic wand here
  • (71) White people have race (cooshball)
  • (69)  Notice race for 24 hours
  • (69) Silence is a privilege
--> Intersectionality -- seeing oppression as connected (just need to be careful not to derail the conversation and avoid the very conversation about race we are trying to have)

Other resources to think about:

Dear White Moms

Tim Wise: Between Barack and a Hard Place

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thinking about Delpit

I really enjoy reading the dialogue you all are engaging in our blog space.  And am happy that reading each others’ blogs offers you new insights about the parts of our texts that might now click on first read.  It is so engaging for me to see you play with the metaphors and ideas we are struggling with in class from one week to the next.  I, too, find Delpit insightful, personal and challenging to me a white, middle class educator.  And I have also come to think of her as the most important teacher I have ever had.  I stalk her at conferences, and while I haven’t ever met her face to face, I think I might stammer and blush like a 12 year old if I did.  There is a t-shirt hanging outside my office door that one of my students made me a decade ago:  What Would Lisa Delpit Do?

Here are some of the major themes I heard you raise this week, themes I hope we will talk about tomorrow in class.
  • Good intentions
  • Knowing is half the battle
  • Learning rules and codes at home
  • Role of SES vs. race: what constitutes the C of P?
  • You talkin’ to me??
  • Communication across cultural lines
  • Veiled commands
  • Doing what is best for ALL students
  • What does teaching the rules and code of power look like?
And this is a great keynote address that Delpit gave in 2013.  Worth the 20 minutes if you feel inspired:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Notes on Johnson Discussion

Is Johnson an "idealist" in that he thinks that we are capable of change?
How have things changed in the past 15 years?

... but work to find ways to make sure there is no hate speech

Spread the word to end the word -- Special Olympics
"Intent" vs "impact"

people of color vs. colored people

Jose becomes Joe

*Individuals vs. individual
Living in a rainy climate and not getting wet (38)
Will "the problem" end when more people have umbrellas?  How do we stop the rain?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Welcome to ASTL...

Welcome to this SED 561 blogging adventure!

Sometime prior to or during our first night of class, you will set up your own blog to use this semester for all of your Talking Points assignments, and to keep track of your thoughts about any of the issues we cover.

A blog is your very own, personal online journal. It is public, in that I and your classmates can read it and comment on it, but it is your space and you can control most everything about it. (If you want to make it private so that *only* members of this class can read it, I can show you how to do so).

In the context of this course, your blog has two purposes:

1) Your blog will provide a space for you to keep all of your Talking Points assignments over the course of our semester together. You will not hand in written assignments to me each week; rather you will post them on your blog. In this sense, your blog is like an assignment notebook that you will use as you read and prepare for class each week. You will also be posting any additional thoughts you have: responses to class discussion, after thoughts, things you forgot to say in class, relevant experiences you have, etc.

But importantly, your blog is a public space and as you post (and comment on others'), you will gain a much richer understanding of everything we read and discuss in class. I want you to think of it as interactive and intertextual in that way.

2) Creating your own blog will also introduce you to the blogisphere if you don't know this place already. I hope that you will discover creative educational uses for this online medium. You will see how easy it is to use, and perhaps it will inspire you to bring blogs into your own classroom.

To start your own blog, you will go to:

If you do not already have a Google account, you will need to create one.  If you do have a Google account, sign in in the box at the right.  This will allow you to create your own blog on a site called   

Click the button that says NEW BLOG (you will see this even if you have blogged before) and follow the instructions to get started.  Don't forget your Username and Password!! You will need them to login everytime. Please write them down on the top of your syllabus so you don't forget!  

As you fill in the info, you will be asked to give your blog a TITLE. This title will appear at the top of your blog. (Mine is called "SED 561: Sociocultural Theory...")

Then, you need to choose an address:  This will be the web address associated with your site. You can call it anything you like. Be clever or simple (or both) -- it is up to you. Write it down so you don't forget it! (You can also find it later on in your Dashboard where all of your future blogs will be listed.)  

You will also need to choose a design template for your blog. Look through the options listed and see what appeals to you. You can change this later so don't worry too much about it initially... Once you have the account set up, you can start posting. A “posting” is an entry on your blog. (For clarification, you have one blog, but many postings). Give the post a title and then compose as you would any journal entry. When you are finished, hit the button at the bottom that says Publish. It will not appear on your blog until you publish it. You can always go back and edit old posts and create new ones.

Your First Post:
Your first post should be a short introduction to you: who are you, where you teach, why you decided to do a masters in ASTL, what you do in your spare time, etc. (Just a short paragraph — no big deal). You will post the rest of the entries as they are due (see course syllabus for dates), or whenever you have something to say.
When you are done creating your site and posting your first entry, please come back to this blog and post a comment at the end of my first posting (scroll down) that includes your blog address so that I can post it in the link list to the right.

Some Tips and Helpful Hints:
  • Once you are in your blog, look at the top right corner of the screen. If you click on the word DESIGN, you will be able to make design changes, create new posts, edit old posts, etc. (You can only do this if you are logged in to your blog.)
  • Once you are in the DESIGN screen, you can do all kinds of things to make your blog a bit more interesting. Change your fonts and colors, edit a post, change your settings. See the tabs at the top of the screen for all kinds of options.
  • Poke around online and make a list of websites related to education, media literacy, social justice or anything else relevant and post them on your blog. You can add all kinds of things by ADDING A GADGET from your LAYOUT screen.
  • Just do the best you can with this. If you get stuck, don't fret... I am happy to help you anytime as you work on getting this started. And remember: you can't break it. It is just a blog. Everything can be changed if need be!
Good luck!! 

 LB :)