Login and Logistics for this course…
This is a virtual experience. You will need to use the WebEx platform on your computer, coupled with a working webcam and microphone, to fully engage with this experience. If you have any technical difficulties you should reach out to your facilitator (Ethan) ASAP. Please plan to arrive at least 5 minutes before the session begins to account for any technical difficulty.
Session-Specific Information: For relevant assignments, links, and resources, please see the appropriate headings under each session. These will be updated prior to each session.
Login Address: https://teachforamerica.webex.com/meet/etsmith
Meeting ID: 798 743 841
Our First Discussion: Inherent Ability
Tuesday, March 29, 6:30-8:00 PM
- Read Introduction + pages 3-49
- In our collaborative reflection space, list any quotes that especially struck you. We will use these to guide part of our discussion.
Our Second Discussion: Educating the Youngest
Tuesday, April 12, 6:30-8:00 PM
- Read pages 53-119
- Consider the following questions, readings, and videos to push our critical discussion of this reading.
- In Chapter 4 Delpit explains how “the quality of teaching has six to ten times as much impact on achievement as all other factors combined” (Delpit, 2012, p. 73) in terms of impacting children’s learning opportunities. In this video Dana Goldstein (author of The Teacher Wars) criticizes the weight put on teachers to close the opportunity gap. With whom do you more strongly agree, Delpit or Goldstein?
- In Chapter 5 Delpit cites a Chicago study on the importance of social support and academic press (p. 82-84). The full study can be found here and concludes that “students learn substantially more when they experience high levels of academic press and strong social support together, but they learn much less when they experience only one of these conditions.” Where would you place your classroom in terms of social support and academic press? How might you work to better ensure that both levers are being used in your work?
- Chapter 6 focuses a lot on the history and role of Teach For America (and other organizations) relative to educational equity. On page 118 Delpit explains that she does “not want to suggest that TFA teachers should disappear,” but with caveats. After reading those two paragraphs (“Once again…then they can serve no useful role”), where do you believe you fall within this spectrum? Where do you struggle within it?
- Criticism of Teach For America is not new, but has evolved over the years. This article lays out some ways (starting in 2014 when our current 2nd year CMs were joining the Corps) that Teach For America has begun responding to that criticism since the release of Multiplication Is for White People. Which of these organizational responses do you find to be most impactful? Least impactful? Where is Teach For America “missing the point” in their reforms? Where are critics “missing the point” about Teach For America?
Our Final Discussion: Teaching Adolescents + University and Beyond
Tuesday, April 26, 6:30-8:00 PM
- Read pages 123-206
- Additional assignment may be asked by facilitator/discussion leader.