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Strategies for Change Post

ehilton's picture

Strategies for change come from a variety of places.

I believe a big part of reform comes from building support from community. A large issue that is present with organizations like TFA is it discourages people to stay in their community and be invested in the local education. It brings in teachers, mostly white educators, to places where they did not grow up or are invested in. This creates a divide between community and education. There needs to be community base in schooling in order to make students feel as if the community supports the education. One way for this to happen, to create community investment, is high school cadet programs that exist. These provide educational opportunities for students, mostly students of color, to take high level classes about education in high school. Then, support these students to major or minor in education in college and ultimately become classroom teachers. This way, students are supported to return to communities where they are invested in. This is a component that TFA lacks, there is little investment in the area or even the profession of teaching. It deprofessionalizes teaching and disregards the location as a component important for pedagogy. Another way to improve community relations is community based learning. In lower income urban environments, there is a lack of support for the families of students and their own education. If there are programs to support community based learning, for example community literacy programs. When more community learning is supported, then the students can feel as if they are more supported and it promotes learning of all kinds. The idea of "boundary crossing" is addressed in Organizing High Schools for Latina/o Youth Success: Boundary Crossing to Access and Build Community Wealth".

Another key component for change is teaching social justice in the classroom. And not just expecting teachers to know how to do this, because it is not fair to not give teachers the support they need in order to teach these things. So, making sure it is part of teacher training to be able to teach about dramatic social inequalities, especially those that affect the populations that their students identify and are involved with. A strategy that was also discussed is utilizing peer to peer support and resources. And more so than peer to peer, bringing in people who have been through what the students are going though to teach about different topics so that the students feel as if they are supported. In this regard, it is important for teachers to recognize when they are not the most reputable source to teach everything.

There are many other places of strategy, and this just begins to scratch the surface.