As an educator, being humbled is part of the experience of learning from others and sharing time with those who make you better. I’m so fortunate that this happens quite often.
For example, over the course of the past five years, I have grown tremendously in my learning as it pertains to culturally relevant pedagogy. Shaped by students, families and partners in my current district and beyond, I’ve been encouraged to rumble with my own vulnerability with the goal to make schools equitable. In doing so, the work is to make safe schools possible for all students. With this, the partnerships I’ve been able to foster have made me both a better educator and person. Regardless, I’m still a work in progress as each day brings new learning.
One such partnership is with Dr. Marlyn Morris, who I first met back in 2018 when I was producing a Culturally Relevant Pedagogy video for OECTA (see below). From our first conversation, it was evident that Dr. Morris and I shared a similar mindset as it pertains to student learners as responsible and global citizens.
As a design thinker and educator with global experience in equity based education, Dr. Morris understood my sensibilities as a teacher who also happened to be a filmmaker. As we talked about digital technology as the relevant pedagogy to mobilize young people, it was clear we shared a common goal to create learning spaces where students could be seen fully and understand their world through story. Thus, technological access and the ability to tell story, would be a critical foundation to culturally relevant teaching and learning.
As shared in Becoming Relevant Again: Applying Connectivism Learning Theory to Today’s Classrooms by academics Jeff Utecht and Doreen Keller, “leveraging these technologies in meaningful ways to share work, add value to the conversation, and find ways to connect to community, has potential to further all participants’ learning” (Utecht & Keller, 2019).
Furthermore as described by Michael Fullan and Maria Langworthy in A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning, such practice aligns with the “new pedagogies” that look at the importance of new partnership in learning. Fullan and Langworthy share that the ‘new pedagogies can be defined succinctly as a new model of learning partnerships between and among students and teachers, aiming towards deep learning goals and enabled by pervasive digital access” (Fullan & Langworthy, 2014).
This is to say that the new partnership and thus a reconfiguration of learning comes when students are able to show what they know, how they learn and who they are through connected practices. Through the new technologies, students are able to break barriers through sharing in and beyond their classroom spaces. Ultimately, educators must role model this new potential and provide students with authentic opportunities to learn, unlearn and relearn.
For example, as a secondary school Vice Principal, I’ve been so fortunate to lean into my experience as a filmmaker to document student voice so that the power of storytelling can be enabled and modelled. From this, the hope is that students will grow as effective communicators and be provided with the opportunities to share their story in school and beyond as connected learners who actively use technology to deepen and extend their experience (see below).
It’s with the new pedagogies as a enabler of culturally responsive education that Dr. Morris and I will be co-presenting at this year’s ONABSE Conference.
Our presentation titled Brick by Brick: Building Culturally Relevant Schools and Dismantling Anti-Black Racism by Empowering Intervention Strategies and Stories will hopefully motivate and inspire educators to move toward more culturally relevant schools and education. It is time that educators re-engineer and repurpose education for the 21st Century by Embracing Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and 21st Century Social and Emotional Learning as well as the collective voices of the Generation Z and the Generation Alpha, (6-18 years old). By leveraging technology and digital storytelling the goal is to build new learning opportunities one brick at a time where students are seen fully.
Join us on Saturday April 30 at 2:15pm. Register here.