Disrupting the Canon: Moving Towards Anti-Racist Teaching with Text Selection and Preparation

  • Description
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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.

COURSE DETAILS

Start Date:  11/09/2020 
End Date:  12/31/2020 
Duration:  8 weeks 
Cost:  free/pilot
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. 

Register here.

 See the accordion below to review the goals, requirements, pacing, and syllabus. 

  • Course Goals

    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.
  • Course Requirements

    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)
  • Course Pacing

    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.

  • Course Syllabus

    Welcome

    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.