As global citizens, students must be readied with cultural literacy that allows them to understand who they are and importantly appreciate the narratives and stories of others. Much of this is grounded in the students’ ability to understand their connection to privilege (or lack thereof). This is to assert that particular students exist within a perceived dominant culture and others may not. As such, for a classroom space to be truly equitable and culturally responsive, then students must be empowered to share their personal stories (and recognize that stories differ). Its through the sharing of personal stories that students can grow to understand who their peers are and grow from their shared experiences.
As school boards across the province promote equity and culturally responsive teaching and learning, us as Catholic educators must recognize that our students must be provided with intentional opportunities to foster the Catholic Graduate Expectations. Through film and media production, students can readily grow as Effective Communicators, who by sharing, become invested Responsible Citizens. Being a Responsible Citizen is very much following in Christ’s footsteps – living by the gospel values in daily interaction. As such, treating all people with dignity and respect.
We all become Responsible Citizens when we understand the world in which we live. In understanding circumstance, reality and the narratives of others, we can (with an open heart and mind) become better versions of ourselves.
- How to do we intentionally encourage our students to share?
- How do we connect student narratives to respective curriculum?
- How do we address the impacts of colonization?
- Do we openly address the importance of authentic representation and why it matters?
- Do you speak to Truth and Reconciliation and its significance?
By allowing students to leverage their mobile technology (or by using school resources), personal stories can readily shaped and shared.
- Imagine starting your Gr. 9 Religion course with an introduction to Catholic Social Teaching and the importance of being a Responsible Citizen who is responsive to their community.
- With an understanding of Catholic Social Teaching and what it is to be a cultural responsive learner, students produce a 1 minute film using their smartphone or school based equipment. The goal is the video is to highlight an aspect of the students life that is important – critical to understanding who they are.
- Students shoot, edit and showcase in the classroom – leading to discussion.
- Students then, as part of their Individual Pathway Plan, blog about their video, who they are and their goals for the respective course. As such, the video fits within ALL curriculum – aligned with consistent curation of an IPP. This is the anchor of any curriculum – an overarching expectation.
All of this will be highlighted in a new resource I am currently developing for the Catholic Curriculum Corporation. Catholic Media Authorship, will be a D2L ready classroom module that can be readily used in Gr. 9 – Gr. 12 Religion studies (and beyond) to introduce students to culturally responsive learning and the importance of sharing stories. Through video production, students will be empowered to be the author of their story, who can successfully use the digital transferable skills of today’s educational landscape, to build a culture of equity and respect.
As part to the resource teacher and students will engage with academics, Indigenous filmmakers and social activists. From equity to the issues pertaining to Indigenous groups in Canada, this resource speaks to the importance of equity and voice.
The resource will be launched in October – November 2019, after this years When Faith Meets Pedagogy.
Warm thanks to the Catholic Curriculum Corporation for the opportunity to develop this resource over the summer and Lori DiMarco at the Toronto Catholic District School Board for supporting this project submission.