In my last post, I talked about a personal lived experience that stood with me through time. Here is the excerpt:
“Growing up, I frequently felt like an outsider reading textbooks, watching movies and getting introduced to case studies that involved people who did not look like me. As such, I always struggled to A) find meaningful connections to my learning and B) visually see what I would become as a working adult. This lack of representation impacted my self-esteem too. If people like me weren’t portrayed as leaders, or were not at the forefront of big discoveries, then what was there for me to do?”
5 years ago, I started my teacher training. As I worked with different students, particularly students who appeared disengaged or inconfident, I couldn’t help but wonder if they felt left out of their learning experiences/communities as I had. This concern resonates with me to this day, and so my HMW question was:
How might we prepare and equip educators in teaching with a culturally responsive lens in order to foster a DEIJ mindset in students.
In talking about this question with my group, it seemed like a strong question. However, I received great feedback on how broad it was. In reading a book called, “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, I can understand the importance of simple goals and simple questions to kick off a process. In one of his chapters he states that, “creating an implementation intention is a strategy you can use to pair a new habit with a specific time and location”. In other words, the start of your process should clearly state what your first step will be, as opposed to the bigger goal you want achieve. In reading my HMW question, it is clear what my goals are. 1 – to prepare and equip teachers in culturally responsive teaching and 2 – foster a DEIJ mindset in students. What isn’t clear is where I start and where my sphere of influence is. So, my NEW HMW question is:
How might we identify strong opportunities for culturally responsive teaching in the [SCIENCE] curriculum in order to equip teachers with fostering a DEIJ mindset in students.
Now, I know what my first step is – my science curriculum. Something I know very well. Something that isn’t all that daunting to me.
In thinking of individuals who can help guide my inquiry, I know that there is no shortage of educators from our Cohort21 team who have had experience with this. I also hope to talk to my students and experts in the various areas of DEIJ. Over the years, I have seen (and been a part of) this phase in education where we celebrate educators as connectors between learners and knowledge, as opposed to celebrating sages on the stage. With this, I’m more re-assured that I don’t need to be the DEIJ expert to pursue this process, I just need to know how to ask the right questions.