Basic Skills InitiativeRegional TrainingCanada CollegeJune 9-10, 2008Presenter: Dr. Teresa W. Aldredge, Counselor, Cosumnes River College email@example.com
Oct 2006 - Umoja I Diablo Valley College March 2007 - Umoja II Chaffey College Oct 2007 Umoja III Chabot College Summer Retreat January 2008 – BOG Recognition Umoja Consortium Four Pilot Colleges Regional Symposiums – Northern & Southern California Summer Learning Institute – July 2008 Umoja IV – October 2008 San Diego Umoja Community History
Umoja Educational Philosophy Let’s read as a community
Community Design Umoja Village • The Umoja Village is a component of the Umoja Community, a dedicated space welcoming all students, a space designed by students and staff, a space that nurtures academic success.
Community Design Minimum requirements for students: • Complete application/intake form • Complete mandatory orientation • Enroll in Guidance/Counseling courses • Complete comprehensive Student Educational Plan • Meet with counselor twice per semester • Participate in core Umoja-sponsored program activities • Complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Board of Governors Fee Waiver(BOGW) Form • Meet with mentor twice per semester
Community Design Learning Community Model (Umoja students taking two or more linked classes) • Guidance/Counseling Courses (1st & 2nd semester) • English Course • Math Course • Library Information Literacy Course • Other course with African American Emphasis Cohort Model (Umoja students enrolled in classes within the general population) • Guidance/Counseling Courses (1st & 2nd semester) • Other identified course(s) with African American emphasis
An Ethic of Love A love ethic has nothing to do with sentimental feelings or tribal connections. Rather it is a last attempt at generating a sense of agency among a downtrodden people…. This will proceed principally on the local level—in those institutions in civil society still vital enough to promote self-worth and self-affirmation. (Cornel West, Race Matters, 2001)
The Conditions “Many of the issues that we continue to confront as black people-low self-esteem, intensified nihilism and despair, repressed rage and violence that destroys our physical and psychological well-being-cannot be addressed by survival strategies that have worked in the past. I insisted that we needed new theories rooted in an attempt to understand both the nature of our contemporary predicament and the means by which we might collectively engage in resistance that would transform our current reality.” (67), bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress, (1994)
The Conditions “To educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn. That learning process comes easiest to those of us who teach who also believe that there is an aspect of our vocation that is sacred; who believe that our work is not merely to share information but to share in the intellectual and spiritual growth of our students. To teach in a manner that respects and cares for the souls of our students is essential if we are to provide the necessary conditions where learning can most deeply and intimately begin” (13) bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress (1994)
The Pedagogy “The unwillingness to approach teaching from a standpoint that includes awareness of race, sex, and class is often rooted in the fear that classrooms will be uncontrollable, that emotions and passions will not be contained. To some extent, we all know that whenever we address in the classroom subjects that students are passionate about there is always a possibility of confrontation, forceful expression of ideas, or even conflict… Making the classroom a democratic setting where everyone feels a responsibility to contribute is a central goal of transformative pedagogy.” (39) bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress, (1994)
Culturally Responsive Teaching Gay (2000) defines culturally responsive teaching as using the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, and performance styles of diverse students to make learning more appropriate and effective for them; it teaches to and through the strengths of these students. Gay, Geneva (2000) Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Teachers College Press
Culturally Responsive Teaching Gay (2000) also describes culturally responsive teaching as having these characteristics: • It acknowledges the legitimacy of the cultural heritages of different ethnic groups, both as legacies that affect students’ dispositions, attitudes, and approaches to learning and as worthy content to be taught in the formal curriculum.
Culturally Responsive Teaching (cont’d) • It builds bridges of meaningfulness between home and school experiences as well as between academic abstractions and lived socio-cultural realities • It uses a wide variety of instructional strategies that are connected to different learning styles.
Classroom Practices • Student Centered • Timely and formative assessment • African American focused curriculum blended with local college course outlines • Teachers will bring their own style and repertoire • Emphasis on “presentation” in groups and as individuals • Early Success • Relevant and Cultural Responsive Thematics
The Classroom Environment • Porchtalk Classroom environment should be open, respectful, and playful; there should be argument, dissection and revision. It should be personal, political and philosophical. It can sometimes be candid, even a little painful. Porchtalk invites humor, noise, sometimes unruliness. A classroom with such honesty and visibility can produce frustration and also acceptance. Needless to say, trust is at the foundation of a porchtalk classroom and trust has to be earned, modeled, practiced and openly reflected upon, and revisited. Porchtalk is intentional, for example, the instructor looks for an opportunity to draw out, celebrate and dignify the quieter students, so all the voices in the room make up the porch.
Umoja Community Contacts Mr. Tom deWit, Co-Chair English Professor Chabot College firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Donna Colondres, Co-Chair Professor/Counselor Chaffey College email@example.com Umoja Community website: http://voyager.dvc.edu/umoja