Last word discussion of BH& H

Today we utilized a technique of texted-based reading incorporating a follow up exercise “The final word” where a round robin discussion took place amongst small groups focused on short sections Beyond Heroes and Holidays (BH&H). Each of the group members would identify the most significant or impactful segments of the reading section and relay to the group their thoughts and reasoning for bring said points to the discussion. After each group concluded their own discussion a class wide discussion would then take place. The goal: To reach a deeper understanding of the text through these discussions.
I found this exercise and discussion to meet that goal. Others in the group interpreted some passages differently than I did or were able to illuminate the importance of material that initially did not register with me. The major point of our section, Affirmation, Solidarity and Critique: Moving Beyond Tolerance in Education were the call to take the Monocultural education institution and transition them into a multicultural environment to creates access for all students to be successful. It is a call to elevate the current condition to what is outlined as a lofty but an achievable goal. Within our discussion group we felt that one key to implementation of this is to foster an urgent sense to think critically. Development of this skill is paramount for the success of a student, to ensure they are able to navigate coursework and their daily lives at a higher level. We discussed challenging to status quo and the power distribution as themes that run throughout this texts respective chapters. We also discussed the what ifs of a culturally responsive curriculum and the potential pitfalls for exclusion of some students while celebrating some other. All in all I believe the objectives of the exercise were met and we all took more away form a post reading discussion than simply reading alone.

5 thoughts on “Last word discussion of BH& H”

  1. I definitely got more out of the readings when we discussed them. Matt, you have a very concise and efficient way of recounting what was said and done. I agree with you about the importance in the lives of today’s students to think critically. In reflection I don’t remember that being taught with as much vigor, as was the model of, “guess what I’m thinking and if you do you are right” and THEN being validated as being smart vs. thinking and reasoning and come to your own conclusion and that being seen as valid and “right”. (Sorry that was a long run on sentence).

  2. I am curious how you would go about challenging students to think critically. If it is a skill that is not utilized as a norm, would you attempt to create a norm in your school environment so that it is a skill that is used in a majority/if not all of the learning spaces of the school?

  3. I agree that the last word protocol was a great tool to use in order to evaluate a text from different perspectives. That intergalactic pecan pie is looking really tasty too.

  4. Pie in the sky… it is not that untouchable. I think this is completely doable. I thought I had already moved way beyond tolerance before this class. But it highlighted so much that I felt myself becoming defensive. Perhaps vulnerability is the door to transformation.

  5. Matt- I appreciate your willingness to both learn from others and critically engage in discussions. I too was struck by the way in which… “Others in the group interpreted some passages differently than I did or were able to illuminate the importance of material that initially did not register with me.” I really like the format of the “final word reflections” because it left room for interpretation.

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