In 2013 I took a teaching course offered through my university's Teaching Commons. It was free for students to complete and was specifically directed at Teaching Assistants, who do the bulk of small-classroom teaching and assessment for larger lectures at my university. It was a really valuable experience, and I learned a lot about things like pedagogy in general and creating and evaluating assessment tools.
During this semester and since, one of the questions that I have kept coming back to has been how to create inclusive classroom spaces for all of my students.
How do I strike the right balance for inclusivisty in my teaching between my intersectional privileges, the diverse identities and experiences of my students, and the course content?As anthropologists, we may be used to critiquing the complexities and nuances of power relations and underlying structures in the context of our research -- but are we examining or accounting for our own positionality in the classroom, vis-à-vis our students, our topics, our pedagogical choices...?
Hopefully, yes -- even if it demands an ongoing process of growth, including missteps and teachable moments for ourselves and our students. I'm sure we can all think of a few of these missteps, and what we've learned from them.
It's with these questions and issues in mind that we share some new resources for anti-racist pedagogy, and point up a few more of these kinds of discussions from previous posts and pages:
There Is No Apolitical Classroom: Resources for Teaching in These Times (2017, National Council of Teachers of English)
- This page contains a wealth of resources on anti-racist pedagogy. These resources are not intended for university-level educators, but offer important points for reflection, strategies, and approaches for thinking about race/ racism and other forms of discrimination in the classroom grouped under headings like: Resources for Working with White Students, Resources for Understanding White Supremacy, Resources for Understanding Bias, and additional articles.
- This edited volume includes discussions of research into a variety of classroom issues, especially in the Canadian context. Again, these chapters are not directed at university-level educators, but are written by academics specializing in education. The end of the document also includes an annotated reading list of further resources that "have been selected for their relevance on issues of inclusion in the Canadian context, their focus on classroom practice and strategies, or their ability to raise awareness of individuals or groups in society" (2011, 124). Resources include texts as well as multi-media sources.
From anthro everywhere! here are a few relevant posts and pages for thinking about anti-racist pedagogy, collegiality, and the role/ perspective of anthropology:
- How To Support Blacademics & Be an Ally (8 July 2016) links to Ellie Adekur's How To Support Blacademics: For Non-Black Faculty and Grad Students Teaching Black Faces in White Spaces.
- Teaching Resource: Social Inequality and Teaching in the Academy (25 May 2017)
- Syllabi resources for challenging systemic racism, colonization, and more (14 August 2017)
- The Relationship between Social Justice & Anthropology (19 June 2017)
- Anthropology against white supremacy (13 April 2017)
- Building Vocabularies for Everyday Discussions about "Race", racism, and Inclusion/exclusion (10 April 2017)
- How a Teacher's Race Affects their Ability to Teach about Race (11 August 2016)
- Our Reading Lists, Syllabi, & Teaching Resources page for more links to publicly available syllabi centred around contemporary events and topics like racism, Islamophobia, disability, and decolonizing anthropology