In the second workshop of this two-part series, Dr. Chavez focused on practical anti-racist teaching tools and methods for the writing classroom, many of which could be applied in other disciplines as well. Dr. Chavez opened the workshop with powerful self-reflection exercises for participants, then shared active methods to involve students in the learning process as co-learners and collaborators. Throughout the workshop Dr. Chavez provided a wealth of resources for further reading. The event concluded with a Q&A session that included contributions from students at New York City College of Technology, CUNY. Since the workshop, several attendees have shared excitement about applying these critical strategies in the classroom, and continuing the conversation with others.
We started the discussion by first polling our fellows on their knowledge of accessibility accommodations, current experiences teaching disabled students in their courses, and types of accommodation requests.
The fellows rated themselves as generally having average experience with accessibility issues and no-one considered themselves to have very limited knowledge or to be very knowledgeable.
Question 1 results (image link opens to interactive chart)
On August 31, 2021, TLH held the first office hour session with 9 of our faculty fellows. We kicked off the session with a short, high-level presentation about accessible course design which was followed by a discussion about challenges that professors have encountered while teaching online during the past year, with making their course materials accessible on short notice, providing other accommodations to students, and with technology platforms that are not always accessible or user friendly. During the discussion, faculty fellows shared some of the tools and techniques that have worked well for them and bringing up questions that also informed the topic. Overall, it was a productive hour and we really enjoyed the knowledge-sharing! We added 3 more slides to our presentation with some of the resources.
Stay tuned for our next TLH Office Hourse, on September 14 at 4 pm. TLH Executive Director, Christina Katopodis will lead a discussion on ungrading and peer review.
At the Philosophy for Children Workshop on Thursday, April 22, Prof. Cheri Carr (LaGuardia Community College) with her students Jesus Benitez and David Ortiz, talked about how inclusive thinking begins with how we treat our children. Between ages 2-5, children internalize racial bias and display attitudes similar to adults. By age 12, many children become set in their beliefs. Caring and invested educators and parents can unintentionally perpetuate anti-Black racism by promoting a colorblind approach to race stemming from their discomfort navigating conversations on race. Not talking about race reinforces racism in young children; talking about it encourages the development of positive attitudes and skills needed to advocate for racial justice. Continue reading →
This post was written by Contributing Authors Tim Leonard and Leigh Somerville
The purpose of this blog post is to provide a brief overview of the concept of collective efficacy and share some practical examples of what it can look like in the classroom setting. As well, we provide several open-source documents that may be helpful in reflection and instructional planning.
What is collective efficacy? In short, it is when a team of individuals share the belief that, through their combined efforts, they can overcome challenges and positively impact student achievement and success. Continue reading →
CUNY serves a diverse student population, including first generation scholars, undocumented immigrants, students living below the poverty line and students from communities historically excluded from higher education. All CUNY students have unique lived experiences and knowledge, but our teaching does not always recognize and value the expertise already present in the classroom. At the same time, many opportunities for meaningful pedagogy are missed because of traditional delimitations around the classroom and the institution of the university. Continue reading →
This post was written by Contributing Author Nicole Kras, Ph.D., Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Human Services at Guttman Community College.
On Tuesday, April 13th, I organized a workshop that focused on various aspects of nature-based learning (NBL). NBL is described as follows:
Nature-based learning, or learning through exposure to nature and nature-based activities, occurs in natural settings and where elements of nature have been brought into built environments, such as plants, animals, and water. It encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, attitudes, and behaviors in realms including, but not limited to, academic achievement, personal development, and environmental stewardship. It includes learning about the natural world, but extends to engagement in any subject, skill or interest while in natural surroundings (Jordan & Chawla, 2019, p.2). Continue reading →
In our role as educators, we use assessments to measure student understanding and progress. The purpose of an assessment is to measure what our students can do, or know. If an assessment doesn’t accommodate the wide variability of our learners then they fail to do what they must by design: evaluate our students and provide us with vital information about their learning and our practice.
It is an essential part of our courses. It is therefore essential that assessments accommodate learner differences if they are to be effective. We must design our assessments with the diversity of our learner needs at the forefront. Continue reading →
This blog post was written by Contributing Author Katherine Tsan (Baruch College and York College), Open Educational Resources coordinator and educational technologist.
I organized the seminar that ran on March 12, 2021, from 10 to noon, with the title Twine, An Open-Source Tool for Non-Linear Storytelling and Gaming Pedagogy. This hypertext decision-tree game-making platform has meant much for me as an educator, given its versatility, its simplicity, and its history of accommodating individual stories that highlight personal agency (a key reason it has become the vehicle for creating “games” that portray the struggle of people living with depression, and the experience of marginalized communities). Continue reading →
Openly exchanging teaching resources is how I learned to teach. I owe a debt of gratitude to colleagues who shared generously: they emailed me their syllabi, explained what a “fishbowl” or “Think-Pair-Share” is, and introduced me to Reacting to the Past. Now after a decade of teaching as an adjunct, I’m certain that one of the best ways to give back to the profession is to share a public contribution to knowledge about teaching.
This is a lesson for our students as well. Ample research shows that students write better when they know they are writing for a large public—whether that’s a publication on a class blog visible only to peers or a professional peer-reviewed journal (see Prof. Danica Savonick’s “Write Out Loud“), a paper delivered at a student or professional conference, a presentation at a local club or community group, a poster at a university symposium, or in any other venue beyond the classroom (see Laken Brooks’ IHE piece on service learning). Writing for an authentic audience increases student engagement in a real-world process where conventions and rules must be adhered to and deadlines must be met. Continue reading →