Elements to Change:
For this institute, I am focusing on my human development and child development courses. I have been thinking about how to integrate more resources that address lived experiences with poverty and systems that contribute to poverty. For now, maybe I could strive for one of each.
I have been reviewing my course schedule to find places where it makes sense to incorporate these materials. This would most likely be within the 3rd or 4th week of classes and then after the midterm.
In my development courses, I try to emphasize that development is complex and it is rarely a single factor that determines how we develop. In addition to using the materials as a way for some students to see their challenging experiences reflected in the course materials, I hope they also will see the strengths and protective factors they experienced being recognized and affirmed in the course. So often, poverty and poverty’s impact are discussed as sole determinants of individual outcomes and, while it is a pretty strong predictor of outcomes, it is not the only one. There are many intervening factors that we can look to. I also want to use readings to illustrate the systemic factors cause poverty and exacerbate the circumstances of those experiencing poverty.
I can’t pinpoint a single need. The speakers and our discussions have given me so much to think about. So, let’s keep doing that! I also appreciate when folks share the strategies and resources they’ve used (that’s how I got some items on my list).
I’m also rethinking how I structure my course–partly because I’m starting to rely more on OpenLab so I can think more flexibly/creatively about what students produce to show their thinking. As a result of my participation in the institute, I’ve also been thinking of ways I could structure my course so that the course structure is not yet another barrier that students experiencing poverty face as they try to learn and attain their academic credentials. We’ve discussed (and I for a long time have been thinking about) how college is not set up for our students (many of whom have full-time jobs and families and long commutes and other challenges). I’m trying to re-envision the college classroom experience and create one that is not only built for individuals who are full-time students and don’t have other demands and challenges.
Some of the materials mentioned by other fellows and on the website are:
The Florida Project
Wendy & Lucy
Learning Affect (Ramos-Zayas)
Poorly Understood (Rank)
Capital City (Stein)
Homeless in College (Tai)