FIPSE LSDL Modules

 

PLE 4: Module 5

Section 4: Racial Awareness and Leadership 

Powerful Learning Experience 4.1 Racial Autobiography

Element Participant Instructions Instructor/Facilitator Notes

Purpose

Develop own racial awareness of self and others

Explore personal experiences of learning about race and racism.

Racial Autobiography – You will write a racial autobiography that recounts one or more significant events in your life that involved you asking really serious questions about your racial identity or your reaction to the racial identity of someone else, as it relates to yours. You should use what we have discussed in class to help you structure this autobiography. For example, consider our unresolved class conversation on definitions of equality and equity. Also, there are examples of racial autobiographies in the Courageous Conversations textbook. You may refer to these for guidance. While the autobiography does not have to be exclusively about education, or about education at all, you should at least share what you have learned as a result of this experience or set of experiences. Teaching Notes: Through these modules, we serve multiple roles. We are professors guiding our students through these learning experiences, but we are at the same time learners ourselves. We must be vulnerable and also take the risks associated with exploring race at such a personal level. We have each produced our own racial autobiographies and have provided these for your use. We urge anyone leading these modules to produce and share his/her own racial autobiography with students. Ours are posted on the web for facilitators and participants to read. We do not require participants to share their racial autobiographies with each other, but many volunteer to do so. In fact, in the past two years, our students have chosen to maintain a student-only googledocs sharing site and that has served as a way for them to share documents and learning. Some students either share their piece with selected members of the class and some post to googledocs for everyone to read, and others may elect to only share their papers with the professors. Given the deeply personal nature of the racial autobiography, we have let this evolve naturally and strongly urge you to do the same. Regardless of whether they share broadly, the experience of completing the racial autobiography achieves the objectives of the students exploring racial identity and its impact on their lives and those of others. Though students need not share the Racial Autobiography, allow time and structure to process Racial Autobiography learnings.
Pre-Activity    
Video    
Guided Discussion    
Readings

Adams, M., Bell, L. A., & Griffin, P. (Eds.). (2007). Teaching for diversity and social justice (Second ed.). New York: Routledge.

Singleton, G. E., & Linton, C. (2006). Courageous conversations about race: A field guide for achieving equity in schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.

 
Related Websites    
Reflective Journaling    
Assessments Level One    
Extended Activity    

 

Building a Community of Trust through Racial Awareness

Section 4: Racial Awareness and Leadership 

Powerful Learning Experience 4.2 Sense-Making Around Race in Schools

Element Participant Instructions Instructor/Facilitator Notes

Purpose

Develop an understanding of the ways that racism is communicated and reinforced in society and schools

Bring your notes on the Evans reading to class. Contribute to small group discussion.

Evans states, “ School leaders must come to understand their own sociopolitical identities and professional contexts, how these shape their view on issues of race, and the implications of their leadership and sensemaking for all students, particularly students of color (2007, p. 159).

  1. What evidence does the author provide to support this claim?
  2. In what ways did the sociopolitical context of the 3 schools shape the leader?
  3. In what ways did the leader shape – or fail to shape – the organizational culture to support student and staff needs as a result of demographic change?

As the incoming principal of Catonsville School, you face similar demographic shifts. Working as a leadership team, map out your approach to addressing the organizational culture of Catonsville.

This article sets the stage for the next PLE 4.3, Applying the Cycle of Socialization to Educational Leader Context.

Bring participant attention back to the Catonsville case description. Before beginning the small group activity ask participants to identify similarities and differences in the description of Catonsville and the 3 schools described in the article.

Assign students to groups of 4 or 5 to develop a plan to address the organizational culture at Catonsville School. Each group represents the leadership team of Catonsville School. Offer the discussion questions at left, or devise additional/different questions to guide small group discussion.

An alternative would be to assign different groups as the leadership team of one of the 3 schools in the article, Kelly, Johnson, or Parker. In this way, each group would need to take into account the different school contexts in building the plan.

Video    
Guided Discussion

Contribute to whole group discussion.

  1. As each group shares the major elements of their entry plan as the leadership team for Catonsville School, participants note patterns, similar, or novel approaches.
  2. What steps did your team members take to intentionally disrupt your own racial biases?
  3. How might your team address deficit views held by teachers?
  4. What assumptions has your team made in developing this plan?
  5. How else might your team plan to shape an organizational culture that supports high cognitive demand learning experiences for each and every student through equitable practices?

After hearing from each group, revise your plan to include any additional elements that will augment your plan.

This guided discussion includes an opportunity for each group to revise and refine their plan to incorporate additional ideas and/or elements from other groups. Stress that strategic planning is an iterative process and that even newly formed plans should be discussed, reviewed and refined.

Stress the power of collaboration and the benefit of leaders working in collaboration at school sites as well as across school sites.

Readings Read the Evans (2007) article, School Leaders and Their Sense-making About Race and Demographic Change  
Supporting Materials    
Related Websites    
Reflective Journaling    
Assessments Level One    
Extended Activities    

 

Building a Community of Trust through Racial Awareness

Section 4: Racial Awareness and Leadership 

Powerful Learning Experience 4.3 Applying the Cycle of Socialization to Educational Leader Context

Element Participant Instructions Instructor/Facilitator Notes
Purpose

Apply a theoretical model in an educational context

 

Before class:  Explore the Cycle of Socialization handout (below)
Reflect on the model with a partner/trio. (Cycle of Socialization, Harro, PDF)
Read or re-read Evans (2007) School Leaders and Their Sense-making About Race and Demographic Change (PLE 4.2)
Annotate the article by labeling elements of the Cycle of Socialization found in the text.

  1. How do school and district leaders contribute to socialization of teachers, students and community members?
  2. In what ways are these leaders socialized by the teachers, students and community members?
  3. What examples of institutional and cultural socialization are described?
  4. Find and label at least 3 examples of enforcements.
  5. What results or outcomes are described?

In class, consider these questions and discuss in dyads or triads.

  • Does this model of socialization make sense to you? Could you articulate what the model is suggesting? Be prepared to share this summary with one or two other persons.
  • What does this model tell you about you about how individuals might be socialized
  • Describe your reaction to it? Why do you feel you are experiencing this reaction?
  • Discuss the connections you made between the Evans, Sense-making article and the cycle of socialization. 

 

This learning experience offers an opportunity to re-engage with a reading and apply a theoretical model to an actual research study.

Have participants join with a partner or trio to explore the first set of questions.

Next participants in partners/trios summarize their reactions to the model based on the questions at left. Have participants take about fifteen minutes to discuss connections they see to educational leadership in the model.

Pre-Activitiy

Before class: Read the Evans (2007) article, School Leaders and Their Sense-making About Race and Demographic Change
Explore the Cycle of Socialization handout (below)

 

Ask participants to thank their partners and return to their seats to complete the rest of the assignment. Ask them to note on their copies of the model any examples from their own experiences that are pertinent.

Ask participants to share more examples of how education perpetuates this cyclic system. Ask participants to share how they might have played a role in the cycle and what they can now do to change it.

Guided Discussion

Whole Group Discussion

  • What does the cycle of socialization tell you about your leadership practice?
  • Does it imply anything about your role as a leader? Would you please explain?
  • Summarize your major points on chart paper
  • Have the dyads and triads report out to whole group.
  • In light of this discussion, what refinements might you make to the plan you devised yesterday?

After allowing some discussion, explain that this model illustrates how systematic socialization through individual, cultural, and institutional interactions and norms teach us to accept a system of racism and white privilege/advantage. As facilitator, you should walk participants through the model with additional examples to illustrate the potency of it. Highlight how the cycle impacts education.

Readings

Evans A. E., (2007)  School Leaders and Their Sense-making About Race and Demographic Change. Educational Administration Quarterly, 43: 159.

 
Supporting Materials    
Related Websites    
Reflective Journaling Participants journal on what they see as real directions for change now that their consciousness level has been raised. Have them provide at least three examples of how they are going to interrogate and/or interrupt this cycle.  
Assessments Level One    
Extended Activity