How can we disrupt the canon and move towards anti-racist teaching, as we keep complex text at the center of instruction? Leaning on the work of #DisruptTexts, this online course will engage in learning around four key pillars:
1. Continuously interrogating our own biases,
2. Centering Black, Indigenous, and authors of color,
3. Applying a critical literacy lens to our teaching practices, and
4. Working in community with others, especially BIPOC.
This course pilot ran from 11/09/2020-12/31/2020. For updates about future opportunities to participate in this course and other upcoming professional learning events, subscribe to our email list.
Duration: 8 weeks
Primary Audience: K-12 ELA/Literacy Teachers
Certificate: A certificate showing 9 hours of professional learning is available upon course completion. Please reach out to your school district to ensure they will accept it.
See the accordion below to review the goals, requirements, pacing, and syllabus.
In this course you will learn about the four pillars of #DisruptTexts and how to use these principles to evaluate and adjust your instruction towards anti-racist teaching. In particular, you will:
- Learn to recognize our own identities and perspectives, better understand how these may shape our teaching practices, and craft strategies to account for them and mitigate bias.
- Understand why we must responsibly center BIPOC authors in literature, and how we can accomplish this.
- Apply a critical literacy lens to our work with any text, look above and below the line when we consider our own identities, those of our students, and those centered in the texts we read with our students.
- Examine the role of our communities in disrupting the canon and holding ourselves, and each other, accountable for this work.
To earn your certificate showing 9 hours of professional learning, you must successfully complete the following:
- Take the pre-survey.
- Review all course content, including videos and readings.
- Complete all embedded interactive activities, including discussion boards.
- Take the post-survey after each pillar.
While we encourage you to complete the modules for all four pillars, you may also choose to select and complete the learning and activities from individual pillars. If you complete all activities within any one pillar, and take the post survey, you will receive a professional learning certificate for the following hours:
- Pillar 1 (2 hour certificate)
- Pillar 2 (3 hour certificate)
- Pillar 3 (3 hour certificate)
- Pillar 4 (1 hour certificate)
Because this is a self-paced course, you have the freedom to complete the course at any time over any duration within the eight week timeframe (11/9 - 12/31). However, our recommended pacing is that you complete one pillar per week (between 1 and 3 hours) over the course of four weeks.
Objective: You will be introduced to the #DisruptTexts movement and identify the four pillars, or key values, that guide this work. In this module, you will:
- Understand the key ideas of each of the #DisruptTexts four pillars.
Pillar 1: Interrogating Our Own Biases
Objective: Learn to recognize our own identities and perspectives, better understand how these may shape our teaching practices, and craft strategies to account for them and mitigate bias. In this module, you will:
- Evaluate your own comfort level discussing critical topics with students.
- Develop strategies to improve your comfort level when speaking about critical topics.
- Complete a self-assessment to identify your vulnerabilities, strengths, and needs in facilitating difficult conversations.
Pillar 2: Centering Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Authors
Objective: Understand why we must responsibly center BIPOC authors in literature, and how we can accomplish this. In this module, you will:
- Understand the importance of centering BIPOC authors.
- Apply a critical lens to rethink the teaching of To Kill a Mockingbird.
- Learn to apply critical questions about authors and texts to assist in text selection and lesson preparation.
- Develop techniques - such as strategic pairing of texts, intentional replacing, and developing counter-narratives - to center BIPOC authors.
Pillar 3: Applying a Critical Literacy Lens
Objective: Apply a critical literacy lens to our work with any text, look above and below the line when we consider our own identities, those of our students, and those centered in the texts we read with our students. In this module, you will:
- Consider your own identity above and below the line
- Practice examining existing curricular resources with a “critical lens,” including utilizing Dr. Gholdy Muhammad’s framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy
- Apply these ideas to your own work by selecting a text of your choosing considering a plan for instruction
Pillar 4: Working in Community
Objective: In this unit we will examine the role of our communities in disrupting the canon and holding ourselves, and each other, accountable for this work. In this module, you will:
- Develop strategies for how to work in and with your community to disrupt the canon.
- Consider the characteristics of your community - including its members, strengths, and needs.
- Understand your 'sphere of control' and 'sphere of influence' for engaging in this work.
- Draft an email to your future self, to reflect and hold yourself accountable for disrupting the canon in your work.