Educators Discuss How to Disrupt Oppression During #AACTE19
During the “Disrupting the Persistence of Oppression” Deeper Dive session, panelists explored the question: How does knowing content matter for disrupting the persistence of oppression? The panel discussion was moderated by Deborah Ball, director of TeachingWorks at the University of Michigan and included Maisha Winn, Chancellor’s Leadership Professor in the School of Education and co-director of the Transformative Justice in Education (TJE) Center at the University of California, Davis; Sylvia Celedon-Pattichis, senior associate dean for research and community engagement and professor of bilingual and mathematics education at the University of New Mexico; Abby Reisman, assistant professor of teacher education at the University of Pennsylvania; and Carol Lee, former Edwina S. Tarry Professor of Education, School of Education, of Social Policy and African-American Studies at Northwestern University.
Winn began the panel discussion with a scholarly presentation focused on restorative justice and shared a narrative framework she developed for teachers to consider when seeking justice in the school setting. The framework is based on four pedagogical stances: history matters, race matters, justice matters, and language matters. She presented the framework and shared her desire to add a fifth stance: futures matter.
“Educators must address the war inside of the classroom where students are routinely denied access to a kind of learning that can change a person’s socio-economic forecast, self-advocacy skills, social networks and the ability to be free,” said Winn.
Celedon-Pattichis introduced the use of storytelling to engage in mathematics equity work. She shared a video clip illustrating a conversation started by a kindergarten teacher of Guatemalan descent that prompted a division problem. The students drew on experiences to make sense of the mathematical idea. The video is part of a published study of three kindergarten classrooms that is evidence of the problem solving capacity of young Latinx students.
“This practice of using storytelling draws from familiar ways of talking and negotiating meaning among families,” said Celedon-Pattichis. “This was part of the community that the teachers were embedded in.”
Abby Reisman discussed how historical knowledge can give power to students in several ways to disrupt oppression: power to question (why?) power to challenge (I disagree) and power to tolerate complexity (this is not what I expected). She demonstrated her point with a curriculum she recently developed for Philadelphia teachers about the story of Octavius Catto, who is the first single African American to have a memorial statue in Philadelphia. Following a brief bio of Catto, she shared a video clip of a tenth grade class discussion about him and the events around his death to further illustrate how historical knowledge cam empower students to develop a deep understanding of the roots of contemporary oppression to be able to dismantle it.
“It’s not enough to for teachers to just know this stuff and lecture at students,” said Reisman. “We must design instruction so students can build and own this knowledge.”
During her presentation, Lee spoke about how to include issues around understanding human development in relationship to cognition as an integrated package of knowledge—in designing instruction and in responding in the moment. Lee shared two cases as examples of what integrated knowledge looks like in a real classroom.
“If teachers see the end goals of instruction as merely technocratic ends, then all of these identity wrestling issues don’t come into play, because we don’t see them as integrated kinds of knowledge,” said Lee.
A video recording on this Deeper Dive session, ““Disrupting the Persistence of Oppression,” is available to Annual Meeting attendees at aacte.org. Additional video recordings of the General Sessions and all Deeper Dives from the 71st Annual Meeting may be accessed in the AACTE Resource Library.