The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Spring 2020 Graduate Course: Teaching for Racial Justice: Identity, Culture, and Pedagogy

Saturday, January 11, 2020 - 9:30am to Saturday, June 6, 2020 - 2:00pm

This course focuses on anti-racism and social justice education, emphasizing the four pillars of social justice (identity, language, culture, equity). The course explicitly addresses privilege, equity, and cultural responsiveness in the school’s content curriculum and social environment.

It is important for educators to recognize the diversity and variability of students in their classrooms. It is equally important that they recognize and draw upon students’ cultural assets. This course is designed to address these issues through readings, class discussions, and social action. Participants will learn about the concept of implicit bias and how it affects our interactions with students and adults in the learning environment. Through personal narratives and reflections, participants will explore their own identities and recall and share their own journeys in the education system. They will use a cultural lens to critically examine the curriculum to work toward equity and inclusivity. Participants will also learn strategies for designing and creating safe learning environments that embrace and support students’ cultural backgrounds and lived experiences, and that empower students to act for social justice, both in school and in their communities.
This course is an elective in the WMWP Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Writing program but is open to all educators who are eager for reflection and challenge.

Location: E370 South College, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Dates: Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. (including lunch break): January 11, February 8, March 7, April 4, May 9, and June 6, plus online conversations.

Instructors: Momodou Sarr, WMWP Co-Director of Language, Culture, and Diversity; Kelly Norris, WMWP Teacher-Consultant, English Department, Minnechaug Regional High School

Texts: Readings will include the 2017 edition of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria, a self-chosen book on culturally responsive leadership, and numerous articles.

Registration/Cost: Register at https://forms.gle/qaqGe5NhqEHzQ5NG8. The $400 fee is payable to WMWP by credit card, check, or school purchase order.

Credit: 67.5 PDPs at no additional charge or 3 graduate credits at $347, payable to UMass. Enrollment information will be provided after WMWP registration is received.

Download the course flyer: