Assignment 1 Question: Informed by McIntosh’s argument about white privilege, what do you see is your responsibility as a teacher in a school where white privilege will be inevitable? Consider your own classroom and your own practice
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ASSESSMENT ITEM 1: DESCRIPTION
In this particular task, you will be writing a response to two separate questions, released one after the other on Learn JCU, that are tied to two specific readings (also provided). Your responses should draw on (and reference) the readings themselves, examples from your own professional and personal experiences, as well as relevant policies, legislation and readings.
ASSESSMENT ITEM 2: DESCRIPTION
As agents of socialisation, schools are responsible not only for providing students with a sense of the content knowledge deemed important by the state but it also becomes a conduit through which ideas about race and racism are transmitted, reinscribed, and (sometimes) contested.
Moreover, schools continue to be spaces where conversations of race and racism are often difficult to have or they are evaded altogether (Pearce, 2014). Consider the following incidents:
1. Students at a high school in Cairns were punished (told to “stay home”) for protesting against their experiences of racism (March, 2021);
2. Year 5 and 6 students in Sydney, learning about rights and freedoms, created posters about what they knew of injustice which included notes about Black Lives Matter and police violence against racialized non-white peoples.
The NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning called for a review into the issue to see if disciplinary action was warranted (April, 2021);
3. A Year 4 student, interpreting the (old) national anthem lyrics as racist, refused to stand on the grounds that it misrepresented the history of Australia by celebrating the accomplishments of white people. They were given detention for their peaceful protest (September, 2018).
Incidents such as these highglight the continuing challenges of talking about racism in ways that are meaningful, considered, and critical, in part because schools are designed to punish dissent and deviance (ie. what each of the students/groups in the examples above were accused of and subject to).
Your task here is to pick one of the incidents above, or a different one of your choosing that you run by your lecturer/tutor, and research it, including not just the incident itself but what you can about the community in which the incident took place and relevant policies and legislation. With this insight, you are to produce the following:
1. Community and policy/legislation context: Provide a brief overview of the community in which the incident took place and any policies and/or legislation relevant to the incident.
Here, you are to select and speak to those that you think are the most relevant and best demonstrate your ability to recognise the relevant ‘components’ of the community and policies to know for such a
2. Discussion with Students: Imagining that you were a teacher at the school where this incident happened, produce a short writeup that outlines how you would discuss the issue with students on the day of the incident. For example, imagine that you hear students talking about it and you,
as an ethically minded and critically oriented teacher, want to take up this ‘incident’ as an opportunity to discuss the issue [600-700 words]. Your writeup must:
a. Make explicit reference to the QCT Code of Ethics as a demonstration of how you plan to meet your ethical obligations in and through this conversation.
b. Include theory and research used/discussed in this subject, as well as any relevant policy and legislation.
3. Letter to Parents: You will write a letter that you would send home to the parents/carers of the students after your discussion, outlining what you discussed and why. Here, you must demonstrate:
a. Appropriate written conventions with respect to the audience (ie. write a letter that is carer appropriate)
b. How you would respond, carefully, to the needs and (presumed) concerns of parents
A focus here should be on translating the ideas we’ve discussed in class for an audience of carers/parents. Remember that, for instance, many people have rather limited views of race and racism so careful explanation of any language will be required (in a way that isn’t patronising).
ASSESSMENT ITEM 3: DESCRIPTION
For this task, you will pick a theme from the subject – race/racism, sexism, gender, or nationalism, develop and lead a 20-minute professional development (PD) session for your peers/colleagues and a product they can use to further their own learning (beyond the PD session you lead) and apply in their own classroom.
The PD session and product should reflect a pro-active, best practice approach in how the theme needs to be understood and enacted to effect meaningful and emancipatory change.
If we take seriously that contesting discrimination is a whole school effort, you will use this task to demonstrate your abilities to translate theoretical and empirical ideas from this subject into something to guide a professional and pedagogical response for the whole school.
Specifically, you will develop a professional development package inclusive of resources and written materials that demonstrates your ability to explain critical themes and ideas from the subject for an audience of practitioners. Further, you will present your ideas to a group of peers who will appraise your work.
This task is comprised of two connected parts. In both parts, you are to take the role of a teacher delivering professional development to colleagues at your school.
Part 1: Professional development session
You will lead a professional development (PD) session to a group of three peers. Each member of your group will present to the remaining members, with two presenting in week 8 and two in week 9’s workshop.
The groups will be the same across both weeks. The aim of the PD session is for you to translate theory to practice to the classroom. Hence, your PD session should outline the theory underpinning your chosen theme, provide examples of the theory in practice and model the practice (i.e., demonstrate or provide examples of how you can apply the learning to instructional practice).
Part 1 also requires you to peer evaluate those who present in the group. A rubric will be provided. Your lecturer/tutor will moderate. Your presentation must address the following components:
a. Introduce the theme you are addressing and identify its relevance to society, current schooling and, specifically, to North/Far North Queensland school communities (e.g., why are we talking about racism, gender or nationalism?
How is it relevant to our school communities in North/Far North Queensland?). For this section you should consider relevant policies and legislation, as well as local contexts.
b. Explain what the theme includes, misconceptions commonly held about the theme generally and specifically within your region’s school communities.
c. Pick a school, year level and curriculum area and provide an example of how you might translate the theory into practice (i) at the whole-school community level, and (ii) in a classroom. Draw on school
community and classroom contexts, legislation and policies at the state and school level to support your arguments.
d. Audience participation: Involve your three group members so that they become active participants in your PD session (consider active teaching and learning strategies that you can incorporate throughout your session)
The three peers/colleagues in your group will individually mark your session (via provided rubric) and provide feedback via two sentences: One sentence to address something you have done well, another sentence to address something you can consider or further enhance for Part 2 of the task.
Part 2: Product
You will submit a product that your peers and/or other teachers can (i) use to further their own learning about the theme of your PD session, and (ii) apply in the classroom.
This product can be presented in a form of your choice (e.g., eBook, Powerpoint presentation, video recording, ePoster, booklet/leaflet)
and must address the following components:
a. An introduction that introduces the theme, outlines the importance and relevance of the theme, the necessity to address it, and includes a summary overview of the theory
b. A list of three resources for deepening the learning of your peers/colleagues with annotations which explain (i) what the resource is; (ii) how it supports a critical reading of the theme; and (iii) how it deepens understanding beyond what was discussed in the presentation [no word length for the annotations, but consider that the norm for annotations is 4-6 concise sentences or around. These should be resources that teachers benefit from.
c. A lesson plan providing an example of how you might incorporate the theme into the curriculum with reference to one learning area [you may use the same class as for Part 1C and incorporate resources from
Part 2b]. You must use the lesson plan proforma provided. You must also annotate your lesson plan with explanatory pedagogical annotations that demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning needs of your students and differentiated teaching to meet specific learning needs.
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