Day 3: Decolonial & Antiracist Pedagogy

Aug 3, 2021

Welcome to Day 3, the midpoint in our DPL buffet journey together.

In Day 3, we hope to cast light on the problematic power and processes that keep educational systems inequitable.  We will pursue a process of identifying and eliminating racism by considering some policies, practices and attitudes, so that traditional power can be de-centered, redistributed and shared equitably.  

Decolonizing the mind and taking action is uncomfortable work, and becoming an anti-racist educator is always a work in progress, never quite yielding "perfection".  It is always aspirational, but never an arrival.  Inherently, this work will differ depending on who you are.  It involves an iterative process of taking responsibility for your power and privilege, and cultivating a desire for understanding and growth, etc.  

Our Day 3 Menu:

Feed your mind

Listen: “Equity Unbound with Maha Bali, Mia Zamora, & Catherine Cronin”: Check the O.L.: Liner Notes from Groundbreaking Online Learning

Read and annotate what interests you:

Some Snacks

Some quick videos to consider:

Share your overall reflections on Yellowdig about whatever you've listened to, read or watched today. How is this influencing how you are thinking about your own practices? What connections are you making among the different materials?

Tea time: Live session at 3pm ET/7pm UTC/9pm Cairo

A bowl of green tea, some purple flowers, and Japanese sweet.
Tea time; picture from Pixabay

Join us for a 90 minute interactive workshop on decolonial and antiracist practices.  During our time together, we will invite you to share some of your own stories which will lead to our collective insight. There will also be time to discuss alternative grading practices within the decolonial/antiracist frame.  Zoom joining instructions are in your email and on Yellowdig.

If you would like a sneak peek at the slides we will be using, they are at:

Make Your Daily Dessert

A bowl with Rasgulla, an Indian sweet meat.
Rasgulla; photo from Pixabay

Time to try a new sweet! Here are a couple of "Daily Dessert" prompts for Day 3:

  1. Pandemic Whispers - As the pandemic continues to upheave the lives of an entire world, we sense yearnings for a return to “normal” — as if such thing existed. We spend more time than ever in online spaces, public, visible, on webcams, tracked by algorithms. But where can we say how we truly feel about this experience? Where can we say something we might not say in public? Pandemic whispers are small secret truths about our many diverse pandemic lives.  You can anonymously whisper something about your pandemic experience that (a) has never been shared and (b) is truthful.  Read other whispers. And add your own whisper here.
  2. Make a poster to introduce your ungrading approach next semester to your students. (For inspiration, check out Palestinian Mathematics Educator Munir Fasheh’s post The Trouble with Knowledge, about ungrading: or any reading on ungrading from here:

Post your dessert in our YellowDig thread.  If your dessert is a "pandemic whisper", then it shouldn't be posted in YellowDig (as the nature of the activity is purposely anonymous).  That said, you are invited to share a comment in "reflections" on the "whisper" process for you, or you might share an insight you have had while reading other anonymous "pandemic whispers".  How are some whispers different from what you know and feel about this time? And what does that mean for you?

Remember that if you are on Twitter to share your ungrading approach, don't forget to add your hashtags! ...Just a quick reminder to include the #dplbuffet and #digped hashtags in your posts there.

Midnight Snack

Reflect on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s powerful TED talk entitled The danger of a single story. Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Some reflection questions for after your viewing:

  • Question 1:  In what ways are stories and narrative related to empathy & bias?
  • Question 2:  Why do MANY stories matter?
  • Question 3:  How are stories related to authenticity? And to power?

Mia Zamora

Mia Zamora, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of English at Kean University in Union, NJ, USA. She is the Director of the MA in Writing Studies, and the Director of the Kean University Writing Project.

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