Reciprocal teaching Questions Heidi Tolentino Nathaniel W. Smith Lisa Espinosa
Race: Some teachable and uncomfortable moments by: Heidi Tolentino Some points on the elephant in the room
How did Tolentino handle discomfort? • The conversation was pushed forward by allowing the class to discuss instead of writing in their journals when it was necessary. • She accepted that there will be some discomfort in discussing race. • Students were able to reflect by writing their feelings down at the end of class. • Everyone's participation was appreciated and acknowledged.
What were some tools that were used to introduce the topic of racism? • The book “The Secret Life of Bees” • The four Little girls Documentary • Copies of the Louisiana voting rights test given to African Americans who tried to register • Reflection on past experiences of African American people during the civil rights movement.
How did Lisa Espinoso start the conversation about race with students? • She acknowledged that there was a problem • Integrated content into her curriculum that would help them see connections between the struggles blacks and Latinos in this country. • She has students keep a journal where they could write about community resources, inadequate housing and violence in the community. • She had students read about the Civil rights movement, get in groups and present some major facts about a significant event or person.
The Learning process. What did She do? • She tried three different things to educate who students: Background knowledge about the history of discrimination, Looking at current issues effecting people of color and examine how the media creates and perpetuate negative images of people of color. • She learned along with her students. • Not everything was going to be perfect. She accepted that there would be trial and error.
What resources did she use? • Our America: “Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago” by LeAlan Jones Lloyd Newman. • Freedoms children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories, by Ellen Levine • The Documentary: Ethnic Notions
How was race incorporated into the curriculum? • Mr. Smith incorporated some history into his American literature class. • His course contained a unit of slave narratives and Harlem renaissance to justify the discussion of race and to understand the context of the literature. • He bent some rules to create a better lesson for his students.
Review Questions • Why do you think it’s so difficult for White Americans to talk about the issue of race? • What did you learn from Heidi Torentinoand how she handled her students? • Do you think she could have handled things better? • What are some ways you can incorporate race into your lesson plan? • How would you handle discomfort in your classroom?