What outspoken advocate for the well-being of people of color and other minoritized people in STEM hasn’t been told some version of, “It’d be easier to hear your message if it was more pleasant to listen to”? The people making these kinds of comments always think they are saying something of great practical importance, but really what they’re saying is that they will allow injustice to persist until its victims grovel with sufficiently pleasing manners. (Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, Tone Policing & the Sound of Equality in STEM)
Today we deliberate using critical pedagogy and critical digital pedagogy in labs. While allowing students to have flexibility in our lab classes moves towards critical pedagogy, there are always major safety issues to consider (at least in chemistry, microbiology, some engineering, etc..) when we think about trying to give students greater agency. Anytime we have our students work in groups, we must consider the attendance and etiquette issues that accompany that group work, and these considerations are no different in lab.
And yet lab may be the class that keeps a single working mom from achieving her academic goals. Or it may be the place where one of our TAs tells our oppressed students that they simply aren't good enough to be a doctor or a physicist or an engineer. Or it may be where our transgendered student feels absolutely judged every single day, not from explicit words, but stares and a shunning of involvement.
So today is where we take a hard look at our lab classes and continue to question: 1. whether each lab class is still an essential part of the curriculum; 2. why we implement the classes in the way we do (and if that works with critical pedagogy or not); and 3. what we can do to implement critical pedagogy in our specific sections of the lab class if 1 and 2 must rigidly remain the same as they are now.
A note on the vidcast interviewee today - Maria does not consider herself a critical pedagogue and has not been exposed to its praxis as much as the other folks on the vidcasts we've seen. So therefore she doesn't use the same language that Maha talks about. She is, however, a professor from an oppressed group (she's both Latina and an immigrant), so when she speaks from her experience, it is worth listening.
We have our last synchronous meeting today at 1pm MDT/3pm EDT. The Zoom link is under the Synchronous Sessions chat in Discourse or in your email. Please join us as we chat about what we've learned thus far.
The chat yesterday was awesome because Rajiv Jhangiani was able to join us and share his expertise. And he shared A LOT of expertise. A recording will be made available on my pedagogy YouTube channel (it's where the vidcasts have been). The recording from yesterday (which is unlisted) is here.
Also, our Hypothes.is article from yesterday is still open and available for annotation today; it's here. And if you want to look at something fun, Brad Hinson made a RSS feed of all of the updates to the DPL 2020 Sites and it's here.