“What our children need is love and the arts–love to know they are valued and the arts to express that value.” –Haki Madhubuti
I met with Amana Harris yesterday at her office at Attitudinal Healing Connection, the grass-roots community-based arts organization that runs Art Esteem and places many artists in the schools and in after school programs in West and East Oakland. Her organization is responding to very profound need in the community, like all of yours, a need that is making me think a lot about our work. Simply put, our children need to connect with caring adults. So I ask, how is our work both caring and connected? What are we in the service of?
Dr. Mary Stone Hanley, teacher educator and performing artist from George Mason University recently visited Alameda County, sharing her knowledge and wisdom with teachers, principals, superintendents and parents. Her words were inspirational and real, and touched everyone she met. During a presentation to educators on January 17, Dr. Hanley said, “you know, that first grader comes into your classroom with all of his parents, his brothers and sisters, his aunties, uncles, cousins, his pets, his ancestors, and 500 years of oppression. So, that’s what you have in your classroom, how are you going to deal with that?” Her words were forceful and strong. I’ve been thinking about them ever since–how are WE going to deal with overcoming 500 years of oppression?
So, in an effort to think deeply about this issue, I’m interested in your thoughts, ideas, musings, research, and questions on Dr. Hanley’s report: Cultural Responsiveness, Racial Identity and Academic Success: A Review of Literature. Please read the EXECUTIVE SUMMARY and respond with comments about her themes for culturally responsive pedagogy. How do you see your project addressing the need for culturally responsive teaching strategies and developing caring relationships?
Here’s what I need to see by Friday, February 12th:
ONE comment about when and how you’ve introduced Studio Habits of Mind to your students.
ONE comment on Dr. Hanley’s Executive Summary.
ONE post on your own blog re: your project’s progress…How is it going? What have your students done so far?
I look forward to our online discussion!