Center for Anti-Oppressive Education



International Conference on Teacher Education




International Conference on Teacher Education and Social Justice


Breakout #3 | Breakout #4 | Saturday Plenary | Breakout #5 | Performance


Breakout Session #3

Interrupting Whiteness in the Classroom

This presentation is an interactive session in which we will explore the importance of making whiteness visible in our classrooms. Beginning with attempts to define "whiteness," the group will consider ways in which invisible whiteness undermines efforts to create a multicultural classroom. The presenter will share her own theories.

Judy Helfand, IMPACT Training.

Homophobia 101: A Primer for Challenging Anti-Gay Harassment in the Classroom

What do I do when my students say, "That’s so gay!"? In this basic workshop, participants will explore the issue of homophobia, how it manifests in schools, and how it affects gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students as well as heterosexual youths who do not conform to traditional gender stereotypes. Participants will also discuss some tools they can use to begin addressing it.

David M. Orphal, Zoe Barnum High School and Humboldt State University.

Social Studies, Social Stories (panel)

(Dis)Empowering Standards: Hegemony as the Standard within the New Jersey Social Studies Curriculum Framework

The New Jersey Social Studies Curriculum Framework provides model lessons that are intended for use within the social studies classroom and are based on New Jersey's social studies standards. These lessons contain language and curriculum examples that reflect a hegemonic ideology that obscures our historical legacy of oppression and continued domination.

Mark R. Davies, Hartwick College.

Reconfiguring Pre-service Elementary Teacher Preparation: Competencies for Anti-Oppressive Educators?

This presentation focuses on the reconfiguration of preparation for pre-service elementary school teachers so that dispositions towards anti-oppressive educational concepts and practices may be examined and explored. The presentation poses a suggestive framework of dispositions and competencies for both teacher educators and elementary teachers in the field of Social Studies education.

Colin Green, George Washington University.

Building Relationship and Community through Sharing Story

StoryLines for Literacy is a participatory workshop that employs story telling, story creation, and theatre games. It offers opportunities to explore cultural heritages, build relationships between class members, and contribute to the creating community. This presentation will describe how the workshop has been used in varying educational settings and offer ideas for teachers to apply in their own teaching situations.

Annie Smith, University of British Columbia, Canada

Reforming English Education (panel)

"Free Voicing" and Issues of Authority in the Literature Classroom

What are the tensions between our approaches to texts and our approaches to students in the literature classroom? How do our competing priorities affect teachers' abilities to enact and to promote social justice in the classroom? This interactive session draws from studies of actual classrooms and invites participants to interrogate the profession's privileged terms by juxtaposing them with actual classroom practices.

Mary Beth Hines, Indiana University.

Transforming the Identity of Failure in Academic Writing

Students' negative perceptions of themselves as writers in the academy is strongly linked to the common discourses of composition. These discourses praise standardization and privilege and, often unwittingly, penalize difference. Can introducing a political discourse, one that emphasizes the nature of conflict in language, help transform negative student writer identity?

Linda Fernsten, Dowling College.

Starting with Critical Literacy: A Path To Anti-Oppressive Education in Secondary English Methods

This paper describes the path I have taken in my secondary English methods course to support students learning of approaches to anti-oppressive teaching. Interrogating the partialities of texts as well as the limitations of their own teaching, given their histories and identities, my students ultimately move towards enacting anti-oppressive pedagogy in their secondary classrooms.

Jocelyn A. Glazier, George Washington University.

Reforming Math and Science Education (two workshops)

Why Social Justice Educators Must Engage Science in All of Our Classrooms

Analyzing her social-foundations courses, the presenter explores the relationship between social justice pedagogies and scientific knowledge, and suggests a framework for social justice teachers and students to challenge the authority of science--both inside and outside the classroom--as part of their ongoing projects to challenge oppressions and to create a more just and equitable world.

Jane Lehr, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Affirming Education Equality in Math and Science Classes

This workshop presents examples of instructional activities and teaching strategies used in math and science methods courses to help teacher-education candidates develop essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes aiming towards education equality in their classrooms. We also reflect on some of the lessons we have learned from our experiences.

Hui-Ju Huang, California State University, Sacramento.

Julita G. Lambating, California State University, Sacramento.

Breakout Session # 4

"Once You Start Approaching Things From an Ethnographic Point of View, There is No Turning Back": Exploring the Consequences for Teacher Education and Teaching for Social Justice When Teachers in Preparation and Teacher Educators Learn from Their Teaching and Take Informed Action to Teach from Their Learning

Participants will experience, analyze, and discuss the consequences of offering teachers in preparation opportunities for understanding what it means to take an ethnographic perspective on practice. What consequences does this have for how future teachers both question what opportunities are afforded students in their classrooms and generate possibilities for taking informed action in constructing equitable opportunities for learning?

Beth Yeager, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Ralph Cordova, University of California, Santa Barbara

Documenting with Video (two workshops)

"One Night": Poetry as a Shared Experience

This session looks at June Jordan's Poetry for the People program and describes how high school students can be influenced by its sociopolitical and critical stance on poetry. A short documentary about the program and one focal student's written/visual poetry will be featured. Implications for teachers and teacher educators will be discussed.

Korina M. Jocson, University of California, Berkeley.

Working against Discrimination through Educational Videos: A Latin American Experience

A selection from a series of educational videos on discrimination and difference will be presented and discussed. They address issues of identity and difference at several levels: personal histories, youth cultures, national identities, and the history of schooling in Latin America.

Inés Dussel, Latin American School for the Social Sciences (FLACSO), Argentina.

Integrating Democratic Ideals and Thematic Instruction

We all imagine what democratic instruction looks like, but how do we get there, especially given the teacher-as-technician climate we find in education today? At this session, participants will explore ways to develop integrated, thematic units that are initiated by student concerns and interests, build upon such democratic ideals as inquiry, discourse, equity, authenticity, leadership, and service, and connect standards-based course content with democratic classroom processes.

Ann Schulte, California State University, Chico.

Mimi Miller, California State University, Chico.

Modeling with Purpose: Mathematics for Empowerment

Challenging the traditional approach to teaching mathematics that treats mathematics as apolitical and culture-free, this session will focus on curricular ideas suitable for middle and high school students that connect to students' identity and empowerment and turn a critical focus on aspects of their contemporary culture.

Swapna Mukhopadhyay, Portland State University.

Brian Greer, San Diego State University.

Taking It Personally: Racism in Classrooms from Kindergarten to College

In this session, participants will analyze an emotionally charged encounter (as described in the book, Taking It Personally) between Sekani and the racially diverse pre-service teachers enrolled in a state-mandated diversity course, and students' written responses to it. Our intention is to share and examine our views about the dynamics of classroom racial crises and alternative ways to respond to them.

Ann Berlak, San Francisco State University.

Sekani Moyenda, Rosa Parks Elementary School.

Plenary Session

Reforming Teacher Certification in California: Problems, Paradoxes, and Possibilities

Educational leaders in the state of California share different perspectives on the new state requirements for teacher certification and their implications for the assessment of preservice teachers and accreditation of preparation programs. What are the complex ways that these requirements both help and hinder our efforts to prepare teachers to teach towards social justice? Confirmed speakers include:

Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Teaching and Teacher Education, Stanford University, and Faculty Sponsor, Stanford Teacher Education Program. Darling-Hammond is currently coordinating a statewide initiative to produce a Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT). She is author of the recently published book, The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Creating Schools that Work.

Jo Ann Isken, Faculty Advisor, Teacher Education Program, University of California, Los Angeles, and Instructor, Loyola Marymount University. Isken has published and presented broadly on urban teacher education, English literacy, and educational administration. She is Principal of Moffett Elementary School, a California Distinguished School.

Eric Rofes, Assistant Professor and Program Leader, Elementary Education, Humboldt State University, and Chair, North Coast Education Summits. Rofes researches and teaches in a wide range of areas, including skills for community organizing, effects of charter schools on public school districts, and HIV/AIDS-related issues. He is author of the pioneering book, Socrates, Plato, and Guys Like Me: Confessions of a Gay Schoolteacher.

Breakout Session # 5

Working with Young Students (two workshops)

Teaching for Social Justice in Elementary Classrooms

What does it mean to teach for social justice with young children in an age-appropriate, meaningful way? This participatory workshop will focus on strategies for using children's literature, music, and activities to deal with issues of exclusion, teasing, and racism with young children. Appropriate for those who work with elementary level students or teachers in any capacity.

Mara Sapon-Shevin, Syracuse University.

Searching for a Space: Diverse Learners as Border Crossers

Participants will learn about Border Crossers, an educational program that brings together young students from segregated neighborhoods to explore issues of discrimination, inequality, and social justice. Participants will engage in the program curriculum and debrief by discussing what it means to create a space where students from diverse backgrounds can successfully learn about social justice issues.

Sachi Feris, Border Crossers.

Using Video to Learn about Oppression and Diversity (two workshops)

The Beverly Hillbillies: But It's Just Entertainment!

The session will present an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies and critique it from an interpersonal oppression perspective. The format is intended to be interactive, closing with an activity designed to assess our personal capacity to recognize oppression and violence.

J. Cynthia McDermott, California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Family Diversity 101: How to Talk to K-6 Students about Different Family Structures

This workshop will give teachers and other adults who work with children the tools they need to talk about important family diversity topics. It will feature the video documentary, "That's a Family!," and will give an overview of activities that encourage age-appropriate discussion about race, sexual orientation, adoption, divorce and separation, guardianship, and single-parent households.

Bob Kim, Women's Educational Media.

Ideologies and Resistances of Teachers (three workshops)

Who are We When We Teach?: Personal and Professional Ideologies of Teacher Practice

This study investigates four elementary classroom teachers' personal and professional ideologies as reflected in their practice of teaching. Based on classroom observations and interviews, their professional practice and personal views of their practice reveal a marked personal/professional ideological tension and dissonance with regard to practice.

Antonella Cortese, Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition at University of California, San Diego and MiraCosta College.

Teacher Power under Surveillance: Acts of Subtle and Not-so-Subtle Resistance

Designed for feedback, this session shares findings about the ways K-8 teachers resisted accountability policies in the state of Washington. Using Michel Foucault's thoughts on surveillance, this study simultaneously describes teachers' power, and yet, seeks ways to transform their power into a more systematic, collective, and liberatory project.

P. Taylor Webb, University of Washington, Bothell.

Religion and Science (two workshops)

InterSECTions: The Influence of Religious Experiences on Education and Moral Development

This session will share on-going research on the influence of religious experiences on moral development and how that affects the experience of formal schooling as a morally charged endeavor. Participants will be encouraged to explore their own experiences along with those of other educators inclined towards social justice.

Jason Nelson, University of Washington.

What is the "Science" and Who are the "All": Queer Renderings of Science Education

This session engages in a critical deconstruction of the popular reformist mantra, "science for all," and draws on queer theories as it demonstrates how the seemingly broad-based and inclusive categories of "science" and "all" function as much to maintain the status quo as they do to up-end or challenge it. The presenter draws on his own practices in preservice teacher education.

Will Letts, Charles Sturt University, Australia.

Education Not Incarceration

A coalition of students, teachers, parents, and others recently came together to protest the cuts in education funding and increases in prison spending in California. In this session, coalition members will talk about this successful effort and examine the benefits, strategies, and tensions of coalition building and the opportunities offered by a budget debate for progressive political action on public education.

Members of the Education Not Incarceration Coalition.

Performance: Teaching through Spokenword

A Mic and Dim Lights Alumni Poets

A Mic and Dim Lights Alumni Poets are a collective of poets from the second largest and one of the longest-running weekly poetry venues in California. Our poets have performed on HBO's Def Poetry, BET, and Los Angeles National Slam Teams, as well as at venues throughout the United States. Inspired by our experiences and influenced by life's contradictions, we combine original spokenword and song with a distinctive blend of politics, reality, fantasy, comedy, spirituality, and love. Our mission is to awaken thought and promote dialogue through spokenword.
  Abbye Jo Atkinson is a singer/songwriter whose sincerity and realness are palbable. Born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Los Angeles's infamous San Fernando Valley during the 80s and 90s, she's become a fixture on the burgeoning spokenword scene in Los Angeles. Her earthy tones coupled with the raw emotion of her lyrics are a testament to her belief that music is a healing force that accompanies us as we make our way through life. She was recently featured on college radio's KUCR in Riverside, CA, and is currently touring colleges in Southern California.
Besskepp (Cory Cofer) is a 27-year old quick-witted-beetnik60’s-hiphop80’s-conscious poet raised on Langston Hughes and Public Enemy. Tackling socio-political and racial issues with an animated grace, his poetry addresses equal rights, diversity, single-parent families, the importance of education, and the ways hip hop culture affects our society. His first CD, Bluze Langwij, has just been released. Besskepp is a special-education and health teacher at a school that voted him Teacher of the Year for 2001-2002. He is the host of A Mic & Dim Lights.
Bomani (Charles Watson) has been performing spokenword for the past decade. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he first began performing as co-founder of the spokenword trio, Six Feet Deep. His spokenword encompasses a unique blend of social-politics, reality, fantasy, and love. Bomani is featured on the CD, Soul Unseen: Urban Contemporary Music Series, Volume 1. He played "Em" in the staged production, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. He currently resides in Los Angeles and is working on several spokenword projects and his own CD.
Gia Scott-Heron has been writing and performing for the majority of her life. From the age of 10, she has written lyrics to over 40 songs, more than 100 poems, and the award-winning essay, Hair and Hair Politics in the African-American Community. After graduating with honors from Pitzer College, Gia has performed at numerous poetry venues, including the Buttafly Lounge and Spreadin’ Love-N-Spoken Words, and recently won an open-mic contest at Fais Do Do. Gia currently lives in Los Angeles and hopes to put out a collection of her works, record a CD, and sell songs to other artists.
Manchild (Everett Vigil) has a name that fuses being a responsible adult with having a passionate need to continue living out childhood dreams. He uses his poetry as a form of therapy to enlighten, educate, and encourage youth to express themselves through the arts. As a Mexican American in today’s society, Manchild utilizes his talents as a writer to dispel common stereotypes and misinformation surrounding his culture. At present, he is producing a multi-media DVD that documents the spokenword scene in the "Inland Empire" and Los Angeles.
Mark Gonzales is one of the few French-Mexican poets born in Alaska you'll ever know. He relocated to Fort Collins, Colorado after high school, and co-founded the spokenword collective, The Non-Prophet Poets. Aimed at aiding at-risk and underprivileged youth, the collective emphasized self-expression as a means of self-actualization. Mark was a member of the Long Beach National Slam Team, which was the 2001 West Coast Slam Champions. He is an advocate of art as activism, and is currently working on his B.A. at the University of California, Riverside.