Breaking the Concrete: Professional Development that Promotes CriticalPedagogy and Social Change Isabel Morales University of Southern California Education 700 Dr. Gallagher
The Rose that Grew From Concrete– TupacAmaruShakurDid you hear about the rose that grewfrom a crack in the concrete?Proving natures lawswrong itlearned how to walk with out having feet.Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,it learned to breathe fresh air.Long live the rose that grew from concretewhen no one else even cared.
Why do some teachers (of low-income youth of color) fail whereothers succeed?How can teachers develop effectivepractices, that not only allowstudents to see themselves as rosesbut also as agents for breaking theconcrete?
Schooling and Democracy •Dewey (1916) Education is about discovery and action; inquiry about the world, aimed at evaluating and reconstructing society •Pangle&Pangle (2000): Citizenship education as the reason for founding a public education system •A Nation at Risk (National Commission of Excellence in Education, 1983, p. 9) Education as the foundation of “American prosperity, security, and civility” •Common Core Standards (National Governors Association, 2010, p. 3) Academic literacy skills as “essential to both private deliberation and responsible citizenship in a democratic republic.”
Critical Pedagogy •Paulo Freire (1970): Education as rooted in the struggle against oppression and liberation “Praxis” Action and reflection Shared inquiry empowerment •Gramsci (1971) Hegemony: social control, power relations, reproduction of systems that support the interests of the ruling elite •Giroux (1988) Public schools and educated youth represent the promise of a democratic future “Education is not only about issues of work and economics, but also about questions of justice, social freedom, and the capacity for democratic agency, action, and change…” (p.15) Educators as “public intellectuals”
Sociocultural Theories of Learning •Vygotsky (1978) Social construction of knowledge Learning as a social process •Lave and Wenger, 1991; Rogoff, 1990 Participation in communities of practice •Cochran-Smith & Lytle (1999) Importance of critical inquiry
Why do some teachers (of low-incomeyouth of color) fail where otherssucceed?
PROCESS and PURPOSE over people Demystifying “good teaching”“Rather than putting the work of highly effectiveurban educators on a pedestal, implying throughtheir stories that they have some mystical giftthat allows them to reach the unreachable, wemust work to understand their success. Thishappens by examining what they do, why theydo it, and how they do it (the purpose and theprocess).”(Duncan-Andrade, 2007)
Gangstas, Wankstas, &Ridas• Gangstas: Dissatisfied, dislike students and community, supportive of repressive policies• Wankstas: Talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. (Want to educate all students, make excuses for why they cannot and detach themselves from their work.)• Ridas: Emotionally involved, develop strong relationships with students.• One group’s students consistently demonstrated high achievement – Traditional standards (test scores, grades, college attendance) – Standards of critical pedagogy (critique of structural inequality, critical reading of the word and their world, individual and collective agency for social change) (Duncan-Andrade, 2007)
5 Pillars of Effective Practice (Ridas)1) Critically conscious purpose Wanting to change the world and seeing students as agents of change.2) Duty Sense of responsibility to the students and community3) Preparation Planning, rethinking curriculum, seeking professional development, expanding knowledge4) Socratic sensibility Understanding that they have more to learn. Self- critique and solicit critical feedback from others.5) Trust Committed to building trust with students. Seeing their students as their own children, not “other people’s children” (Delpit, 1995). (Duncan-Andrade, 2007)
Why do some teachers (of low-incomeyouth of color) fail where others succeed? (Maslow, 1943)
Impact of Shared Inquiry onUrban Teacher Development• Teacher Identity – Collective identity – Working from a position of responsibility instead of power – Creation of a professional community – Producers of new knowledge and counter- narratives – Engagement (Mirra& Morrell, 2011)
Impact of Shared Inquiry onUrban Teacher Development (Mirra& Morrell, 2011)• Classroom Practice – Youth publications – Integration of media, technology, and action research into curriculum – Revising curriculum to incorporate colleagues’ ideas and influence – Sharing of work at academic conferences (AERA, DML) – Class projects bridging classroom and community