We had the opportunity to present the workshop Equity through Creativity: Examples of Transformative Teaching Across the Disciplines, in which each of our colleagues and their students collaborated in multiple ways. The main goal of this workshop was to highlight, communicate, and share the ways in which we engage with our students in the classroom, particularly using multiple creative outlets, such as visual arts, film and documentaries, inclusive pedagogy/teaching, and literacy narrative. Our workshop brought experiences centered in multidisciplinary approaches, and student-centered pedagogy, with the ultimate goals of fostering equity, inclusivity, and critical thinking when centering student voices in our classrooms. Continue reading
Our podcast series “Counternarratives – Storytelling: The Lived Experiences of CUNY Students,” stems from the Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship, at the City of New York (CUNY). This series centers CUNY students’ experiences around topics such as the socialization around education, of immigration, gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, family, and mental health within multiple community settings. The goal of this student-centered project was for TLH Student Scholars to experiment with creating storylines that draw on participatory methodologies anchored in decolonial and social justice practices such as explorative narration, (auto)ethnography, and creative writing. The four episodes that constitutes this TLH student scholars produced podcast series allow insight into the way personal perceptions around pressing course topics such as education, democracy, anti- immigrants/refugees, and anti-Blackness relate to larger geopolitical power, institutional racism and violence. Continue reading
May 5, 2023 @ 9 AM-5 PM ET (Zoom)
What is the university you want? Transformative Learning in the Humanities (TLH) calls for creative, multimodal presentations from 50 CUNY students. Accepted applicants will receive a financial aid scholarship of $300 and a tablet. Applications are due Friday, March 3, 2023.
We invite you to think about what your college community needs most to better support its students, and to imagine resources that would improve your social learning experience and academic life. To dream of safe spaces where respect, communication, and transparency are valued. To envision a stripped-down version of the faculty-student relationship, where faculty are better resourced themselves to be able to put students’ needs first. To conceive of concrete ways in which CUNY administration can better respond to issues raised by students. For the Spring 2023 Student Summit, a one-day virtual gathering, CUNY’s TLH program will provide a platform upon which students from all backgrounds can speak freely about what their institution is missing, and can talk back to their university. Continue reading
Shifting Mindsets Through Assessments: A Two-Part Dialogue
A TLH podcast project by: Carolina Julian, Jessica Nicoll, Luis Feliciano, and Theodore Kesler
As a group, we were curious about shifting assessment practices in our classrooms. Whether in psychology, math, early childhood education, or dance courses, we aligned in our goal to encourage students to take ownership of the learning. To this aim, we focused our energies into creating classrooms that foster deep listening, observation, responsiveness to our students, culturally-responsive teaching practices, self-evaluation opportunities, and co-construction of course content. We learned more about what each individual brought into the classroom–from names, to lived experiences, and areas of curiosity–and emphasized the need for our students to learn from one another and build a dialogic community through practical, active approaches. We also consciously structured our courses to include student leadership opportunities, through which students developed their capacities to ask “who has the power?”, and to take greater responsibility for their learning. Continue reading
Inspired by Lorgia García Peña’s book, Community as Rebellion: A Syllabus for Surviving Academia as a Woman of Color, our group (Karanja Carroll, Tara Coleman, Alexis Jemal, and Erica Roe) elected to explore community-building as our public knowledge project. The purpose of this project was threefold: 1) We aimed to center for the voices of our students. 2) We wanted the project to build community through the discussion of community building and the sharing of community-building strategies. 3) We wanted to create a repository of community-building techniques, suggestions, critiques, and offerings. The project consisted of creating an Instagram account for people to post their responses to questions and organizing a virtual launch on zoom on 12/6/22, 4 – 5 PM. Continue reading
Our event (fellows Alcira Forero-Pena, Ted Gordon, Bertie Ferdman, Jessica Yood and Lori Ungemah) pulled CUNY alumni from BMCC, Baruch, Guttman, and Lehman to serve on a panel entitled “From the Classroom to the Workplace: CUNY Alumni Speak on their Experiences” and was held via Zoom on Thursday, December 1st, from 4-5pm. We wanted to hear from students how their educational experiences across CUNY campuses had informed/translated to their professional lives. Given the many conversations on the value of a college degree in the “real world,” we were curious what the students had to say about their time in our classrooms and in our colleges, and how they could reflect on their time at CUNY. Continue reading
Greetings from TLH Cohort 5, Group 3! Our Public Knowledge Project, From Dilemma to Decolonization: Higher Public Education as a Site of Repair, engages our CUNY campuses, classrooms, and curricula as sites where we can unmask, unmake, and help to free students of the ingrained assumption that educational gaps belong solely to them and not to the institutions they trust to educate them. Considering the concrete realities of our campuses, our working-class students’ racialized injuries, and their everyday life demands and priorities in work and care, our project seeks ways in which teaching and learning can originate from the grounds of students’ lives and experiences. Our project is about collectively rethinking and reimagining education as a set of common goods that are a part of striving for and earning a decolonized future. Continue reading
Bringing Freire to CUNY:
“Reading the word and learning how to write the word so one can later read it are preceded by learning how to write the world, that is having the experience of changing the world and touching the world” (Freire & Macedo, 2005, p. 12).
The year was 1947.
The place? Northeastern Brazil.
Young Paulo Freire faced a seemingly impossible task–teaching illiterate peasant workers to read.
Freire empowered them beyond simply acquiring the life-changing ability to read. He also wanted his students to push against oppressive structures circumscribing their lives. Continue reading
What I seek (from law school) is the proliferation of a community that is guided by more than just monetary gain. I believe there is an issue with many traditional schools wherein subjects of law are taught at face value, ignoring historical and political analysis behind the way things are—and the way things ought to be. Law school should be a means of birthing individuals that are people-centered. Further, it should create a means of creating individuals that seek to better the world they participate in.
To create a professional community, as a 1L, [I] would love to see more community spaces/times for us as a cohort to meet in person, and discuss freely/openly. We need an opportunity to discuss our classes, court decisions, the profession, social movements/protests, etc. in an open forum that anyone can attend and is not directly related to our class times. A space & time just for us.
I believe in the notion that a person is a person through other people. Therefore, in regards to the value or purpose of community in & out of the classroom I seek sources that are helpful in the development & expansion of my personhood & hermeneutic horizon. I seek diversity of knowledge, perspective, experience & culture, so that I can learn & grow through any community & hopefully contribute to positive growth for those around me.
How can lawyers cultivate build create community?
Listening. Learning. Organizing.
Lawyering is a tool that can be wielded to shore up power. Historically, it has been used to shore up power on the side of white supremacy & capital. I believe it can be used in the interest of equity, prying the hands of racism/white supremacy culture off of community, humanity, and mutual aid.
By meaningfully LISTENING to our clients and those around us a lawyer can LEARN how harm is perpetuated and also how healing can be enacted & helped to flourish. By not simply helping clients one by one in a vacuum but by connecting clients to a movement. Lawyers can participate in the formation of NEW communities & NEW futures. In law school this looks like listening & learning from our classmates & professors. Being willing to be wrong & being loving towards each other.
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On Dec. 1, 2023, Transformative Learning in the Humanities (TLH) hosted a Zoom panel discussion on “Community Inside and Outside of the Classroom” featuring student perspectives on learning with TLH Faculty Fellows Sarah Pollack (College of Staten Island); Sharon Jordan (Lehman College); Joseph Cáceres (Graduate Center); and Lynn Lu (CUNY School of Law). Each faculty fellow shared methods they used during the semester to empower students to share ideas, work together, and facilitate conversation and mutual learning. Students from each course shared their perspectives on the meaning and value of community in relation to their classrooms. Continue reading