Viewer Question for the Week: How can I foster collaboration among my students?
The goal of fostering collaboration among students is to ensure that students are building interpersonal skills. Students who work as a team or with partners attain a higher level of critical thinking skills while also building a sense of community.
Teachers must create opportunities for students to express their feelings and sentiments on global issues. Who our students are must be what guides how we teach our students. How do we create experiences that allow students to learn with each other and from one another?
Our guests suggested three main ideas for our viewers:
Inclusivity: Make time to ensure every student in the classroom feels included, represented, seen, heard and has a space to reach out.
Culturally responsive pedagogical practices: Center student voices and experiences.
Create a solid lesson design: That includes multiple entry points, access, equity, and meaningful collaboration. For examples of solid lesson designs, check out Stacy Yung’s website.
How does what we teach today reflect what our students are experiencing in and out of the classroom? It is not enough for educators to acknowledge social and racial inequities and then not allow students to express their own experiences within those inequities.
There is a widespread acknowledgement of trauma caused by racial injustice. A safe classroom space is the suitable place to have these discussions. Check out “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo.
Author Oluo guides readers of all races through various subjects, from intersectionality and affirmative action to conversations about subjects many are afraid to tackle. This is a phenomenal read for educators. It gives all readers insight into having meaningful conversations and can be used as a resource to help break barriers of silence.
For more resources on creating an equitable classroom environment, check out Virginia Nguyen’s website, Building an Antiracist Classroom Community: Microaggressions.