Educator Strategies for Teaching About Race, Racism & Inequality (for middle school educators): June 22nd at 10:00-11:30 a.m. via Zoom


This workshop will be taught by Ayo Magwood, founder of Uprooting Inequity. Her work is dedicated to sharing resources, curriculum & instructional strategies for teaching about systemic racism & social justice through historical and civics education frameworks.  In this workshop, several strategies will be discussed for developing a classroom culture conducive to productive classroom discussions about race and racism. Here are a few of the strategies/lessons that will be discussed:

1.     Educators should distinguish between settled empirical vs. open policy questions (Hess and McAvoy, The Political Classroom, 2014). “Does systemic racism exist?” is a settled empirical question, while “What should government do about racism?” is an open policy question. Educators should not allow students to debate whether systemic racism exists as it is inauthentic and problematic to allow students to debate settled empirical questions (Hess and McAvoy, 2014). This also precludes racist claims that racial disparities are due not to systemic racism but rather to inherent Black inferiority. Instead, educators must a) greatly increase instruction on the history of racism in the U.S. and its present-day legacies, and b) provide opportunities for students to deliberate (debate) open policy questions on race and racism (e.g. affirmative action).

2.     Meanwhile, educators should simultaneously teach students a “perspectives consciousness” approach to deliberating controversial open policy issues: recognizing that our differing viewpoints are the product of our distinct identities (“positionality”), as well as of our different lived experiences in segregated neighborhoods. To successfully develop policy solutions that benefit the common good, we must understand the perspectives of other stakeholder groups–even if we don’t necessarily agree with them. Strategies to foster perspectives consciousness include the Blind Men and the Elephant simulation, deliberation (vs. debate), and perspectives-taking.

The session is free to attend, 1.5 CEU’s will be awarded for participating in this workshop. Graduate credit may also be purchased.

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Our expert for this session, Ayo Magwood, is a progressive anti-racist educator consultant with 10 years of experience teaching U.S. History, U.S. Government & GIS mapping at both majority low-income Black/Latino charter schools and majority high-income White private schools. Previously she was an assistant economic researcher in the areas of rural poverty and international development, both in the U.S. and in rural Mexico. She has a B.A. in International Relations from Brown University and a M.Sc. in Applied Economics from Cornell University.

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