TTT#407 Welcome Back after Ferguson w/ Marcia Chatelain, Karen Fasimpaur, Alicia Lobaco, Jo Paraiso, and Chris Sloan - 8.20.14

We were planning a "Welcome Back" episode on Teachers Teaching Teachers, something about how to launch connected learning with Youth Voices in our classrooms and how to be more planful about connecting our curriculum. #connectedlearning.

How do we do that after Michael Brown's killing and the Ferguson protests? More than ever we need those days, even weeks of trust-building with our students, yet we also can't pretend that Ferguson isn't happening.

In addition to this webcast, we offer a small contribution with a #FergusonSyllabus or using Gooru, NowComment, Crocodoc, and Vialogues.

Start with your own questions, then deepen your inquiry into Michael Brown's shooting, and the protests and confrontations in Ferguson by choosing from these articles, songs, interviews, photographs, blog posts, podcasts, reviews, videos, reports and surveys.

For this episode of TTT, Youth Voices teachers Chris Sloan, Paul Allison, Jo Paraiso, and Alicia Lobaco talk about how we are going to be launch a connected learning curriculum this year on Youth Voices and how we are talking about and learning from Michael Brown's shooting, the protests, and the confrontatons in Ferguson. In addition we were also joined by Dr. Marcia Chatelain, who has been organizing #FergusonSyllabus on Twitter. On LinkedIn, Marcia writes:

I am first and foremost an educator. I have been teaching high school and college students since 2003. My career goals include publishing on the experiences of women and girls in the United States, African-American women's leadership and the relationship between food and society.

Dr. Chatelin is also a Ford Foundation Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow and she is the recipient of a 2012-2013 Ford Foundation Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship to work on her second book on food and civil rights. She is also Assistant Professor in History

#FergusonSyllabus is a great way to connect with others who are thinking about when and how to bring the Michael Brown shooting into the curriculum.

One of the take-aways from this episode of TTT was to be reminded of the power of for our students. It's important to see and hear the views of students from different communities. The students in Chris Sloan's classes in Salt Lake City and the students in Jo Paraiso's classes in Oakland and my students in the Bronx are relatively homogeneous, and they can learn a lot from talking with students outside of their immediate school communities, especially on issues of race.

Click Read more to see the chat that was happening during this live webcast,
and to find links to a few of the resources shared during this episode of TTT.


Notes from the Webcast:

What Do We Teach When Kids Are Dying? #MichaelBrown

Ferguson’s Freedom Summer?

Chat from the webcast on August 20, 2014

20:54Marcia Chatelain: Hello Paul!
20:59karen (@kfasimpaur): Greetings, everyone.
20:59Kathee: Hi, everyone!
20:59karen (@kfasimpaur): If anyone else would like to join the hangout room, please feel free.
21:01Chris Sloan: Fascinating talk tonight.
21:08karen (@kfasimpaur): Chris' post on this if you didn't see it:
21:10karen (@kfasimpaur): I like the idea of "multi climate" resources...even outside of school. It's a big world out there.
21:16Kathee: Thanks for the link, Karen. I've retooled my entire first few weeks to focus on violence in America (in an American literature class at my university). These resources allow me to present a variety of voices in the classroom--so important.
21:17karen (@kfasimpaur): Nice. What do you teach Kathlee?
21:18Kathee: Mostly English Education classes--but this semester it's all GE. This particularly class is called "Masterpieces of American Literature" (hate that title).
21:18Meta: hi Kathee!
21:19karen (@kfasimpaur): Kathlee, if you want to join the hangout. please do
21:19Kathee: Hey, Meta!!!! Looks like you've been busy changing your first writing assignment.
21:19Kathee: Just lurking for awhile, Karen, but thanks!
21:19Meta: yes, worked on that syllabus today.
21:20karen (@kfasimpaur): You too, Meta
21:20Kathee: Which class is it for, Meta?
21:20Meta: I'm just going to listen - the W class, American Inequality
21:20karen (@kfasimpaur): Meta, lots of opportunities there
21:21Kathee: Perfect--Karen posted a link to a blog post at the beginning of this chat that you should look at.
21:21Chris Sloan: Kathee and Meta, can you share some of your teaching resources?
21:22Meta: we usually do a broader range of topics for the research paper, but Ferguson has so much. OK. I teach Africana Studies so I always recommend Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow.
21:22karen (@kfasimpaur): I think asking students to free write about what they're thinking about Ferguson would be a way to start
21:23Kathee: @chris, I think I'm going to have students read Langston Hughes, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Zitkala Sa, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor in the violence section.
21:24Kathee: Link to an interesting poem by Cervantes here:
21:25Chris Sloan: I'm teaching Aftershock by Robert Reich right now. Income inequality
21:25Kathee: @karen, I am curious to see if my students have even been following this story. On Twitter I don't see many Fresno State students posting about it.
21:25Chris Sloan: I'll also have my students read Dead Man Walking. Again, socioeconomic status and poverty rears its head
21:26Chris Sloan: I mean SES and prison
21:27Kathee: Economic inequality is a huge problem in CA's Central Valley. Smart way to redefine the margins and the center.
21:27karen (@kfasimpaur): Interesting, Kathee.
21:27karen (@kfasimpaur): I see so many parallels with this with other social justice issues eg immigration
21:27karen (@kfasimpaur): That's another way into the conversation maybe
21:28Kathee: Yeah--I think there's so much polarization in the U.S. right now--I've actually decided that the overarching theme of my course will be creating community and what responsibilities we have for each other and for what the U.S. is.
21:28karen (@kfasimpaur): + 1 for creating community
21:29karen (@kfasimpaur): For that reason, I do think that this could be a hard first day conversation. I'd do it anyway, but it's challenging
21:29Kathee: One thing I suspect is that using literature as the basis will allow my students to talk about the issues surrounding Michael Brown's death more safely.
21:30Kathee: Meta, if you're still here, has that been true in your classes?
21:30Meta: yes. we always read richard wright's black boy.
21:31Chris Sloan: I agree Kathee. The literature allows them to explore by taking on the author's stance, or opposing it
21:31Meta: I think students are interested in this topic. It seems a step up from the action around trayvon martin from last summer.
21:32Kathee: The thing I still need to figure out is how to weave in discussion about Ferguson. Maybe it will happen naturally given my focus on violence in this section.
21:34Kathee: @meta, I hope so. Do your students participate in protests? Does your department have anything planned?
21:35Meta: we're going to do a film series in October with the theme of "Solidarity with Ferguson"
21:35Kathee: Which films will you show?
21:35Meta: And show Fruitvale Station, Do the Right Thing, and possibly one or two other films, possibly Gang in Blue
21:36Meta: we have to ask Malik what he might want to show...
21:36Kathee: That's great. Send me the info and I'll help advertise.
21:36Meta: I will. we don't have date/time/place pinned down yet, but I'll pass it on. Wednesday nights in October.
21:37karen (@kfasimpaur): That film series sounds great
21:37Meta: thanks - yes, I'm glad we're planning something.
21:37Kathee: Discussion after the films, too?
21:37karen (@kfasimpaur): We did an outdoor film series on immigration at the border wall last year. It was surreal
21:37Meta: yes, absolutely. we did one last september.
21:38Meta: It went well, great discussion after.
21:38Kathee: Oh, wow, @karen. Tell us about that.
21:38Peggy George: Hi everyone! So sorry I couldn't join you sooner! Had to moderate another webinar. Great topic!
21:38Kathee: Hi, Peggy!
21:38karen (@kfasimpaur): Hi, Peggy
21:40Kathee: Good question--is our purpose to communicate facts or get students thinking about issues that have created these continued problems.
21:40karen (@kfasimpaur): Or to have students pursue the facts themselves?
21:41Meta: I feel pretty strongly that I need to teach some facts about context and mass incarceration as the new racial caste system.
21:41Meta: But Ferguson brings up a LOT of different topics.
21:43Kathee: Hmm . . . both of you make good points. I'm thinking about Jim Fredricksen's idea that all narratives depend on trouble. Students need facts to understand the trouble, but unless the narratives they read trouble them (make them go in search of facts), I'm not sure we've done our jobs.
21:43Meta: I think they have to choose their own way in, but we can provide some ideas about the range of possible topics related to Ferguson.
21:44Chris Sloan: @Meta We approach incarceration through Dead Man Walking, like I mentioned and through the film Shakespeare Behind Bars
21:44Kathee: I haven't seen the film Shakespeare Behind Bars but I remember listening to an NPR (?) show about that.
21:45Kathee: How do your students respond to these films?
21:46Chris Sloan: The film is about this program in prison that transforms the prisoners by performing a Shakespeare play every year. We read the Tempest; they perform the Tempest but in the process we get to know the prisoners as humans
21:46Meta: i'm not familiar with shakespeare behind bars either. does it deal with race at all?
21:46Meta: Well, the tempest is sort of racially problematic in itself.
21:48Kathee: @meta, here's a link with more info:
21:50Meta: yes, I googled it. i saw a Frontline episode streaming online called Prison Nation. I think we focus on race a little more closely in AFRS than in ENGL
21:51karen (@kfasimpaur): (haven't read this yet)
21:52Kathee: Cool--I've got some homework/reading to do after the chat.
21:54Kathee: I keep wanting to pair Ersula Ore's experience with this. The ways that African Americans "provoke" violence from the police just be walking down the middle of the road.
21:57Peggy George: That's a great compilation of resources! Thanks Paul!
21:59Peggy George: play...explore...:-)
22:00Kathee: Yes, thanks Marcia!
22:01Peggy George: excellent, stimulating, thought-provoking conversation! thank you all!
22:01Peggy George: looking forward to watching the beginning of the recording!
22:01karen (@kfasimpaur): Thanks, everyone.