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2009 Program

Welcome to the Second Annual Northwest Conference on Teaching for Social Justice:
“Rethinking Our Classrooms; Organizing for Change”

Saturday October 3, 2009

Check-in, workshop sign up, Resource Fair, food & drink 8:00 9:00
Opening and Welcome:
Keynote Speaker: Ira Shor
9:00 10:00
Workshop Session #1 10:15 11:45
Lunch/Regional Meetings (if interested), Resource Fair 11:45 12:30
Workshop Session #2 12:45 2:15
Workshop Session #3 2:30 4:00
Conversation Café 4:00 4:30
Clean up party for all 4:30+

Please help us leave Washington Middle School in beautiful condition, and move the classroom back to its original seating arrangement after our wrap-up Conversation Café. The map of the classroom should be taped to the classroom wall near the door. And please consider staying a few minutes after the conference to help us with general cleanup. Thank you!

Workshops

Note: Please refer to the separate handout to determine when and where workshops will take place. Please sign up for the workshops and attend only those workshops.

A Pedagogy of Ecology: Nurturing Children’s Relationship to Place

David Sobel writes that, “One transcendent experience in nature is worth a thousand nature facts.” This bold statement will be our departure point, as we examine the values and practices of place-based teaching and learning. We’ll explore differences between place-based learning and environmental education, and consider principles for nurturing children’s relationship to place.

Early Childhood and primary grades

Ann Pelo, who worked for sixteen years at Hilltop Children’s Center’s full-day childcare program in Seattle, is the editor of Rethinking Early Childhood Education, and currently focuses on practices to connect children to the natural world, and on sustainable farming and foodways.

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Barriers and Access to Educational Equity: What Immigrant Families Want Teachers to Know

This workshop highlights key issues of access and equity for immigrant students and families through stories told by these families. It allows participants to experience a wide range of issues, to think about how these stories connect to their students’ experiences and identify ways that they can become advocates for students and families within and beyond their classrooms. It also models and names methods of supporting academic language for ELL.

7-12

Maria Timmons Flores is an Assistant Professor of Bilingual Education / TESOL at Western Washington University in Bellingham, whose research and teaching center on language, culture, and teaching for social justice.

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Be The Change: Where in the World Are We Going & What Can We Do About It?

Educators can energize their global, environmental, social justice & sustainability studies with Be the Change, a “big-picture” experience for students, teachers, parents, and community members. Learn how you can use this flexible symposium (2-6 hours) to explore three of humanity’s major concerns: environmental sustainability, social justice, and human wellness through four inquiries: Where are we? How did we get here? What’s possible for the future? Where do we go from here?

General

Mike Seymour, author of Educating for Humanity: Rethinking the Purposes of Education, has for 17 years been President & Director of The Heritage Institute, a progressive program of continuing education for teachers.

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Biology and Race

This workshop introduces basic knowledge of genetics, heredity, phenotype and genotype. The concept of race is often thought of as a heritable trait. However the reality is that race is a social construct, created historically to justify the oppression of groups of people. This is an interactive workshop in which participants will experience grouping, discuss their own concept of race, read about race and biology, watch a YouTube video refuting race as a biological construct and begin to formulate a thesis for an essay regarding this topic.

Secondary

Carol Campbell is a high school principal in Newberg, Ore., and was a Biology teacher for 25 years.

Dianne Leahy has taught Language Arts at Marshall Campus in Portland, Ore. for 10 years.

 

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Black Student/White School

This workshop will explore how a lack of cultural competency by staff can hurt the cognitive/academic development of African American students and how this is magnified when the students themselves are dealing with an identity crisis brought on from living in the suburbs and feeling cultural detachment. Participants will leave with a framework for action and strategies they can use right away.

K-12

Nathan Bowling is an Air Force veteran and graduate of the Evergreen State College MIT Program, who teaches at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, while maintaining membership on the Board of Directors for GI Voice/Coffee Strong.

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Bury the N-Word? Teaching students to think and write about controversial topics

This session explores use of the n-word. Participants will investigate their beliefs as they think about the following questions: Should the “n-word” be banned? Should only blacks be allowed to use it? Is it OK as a term of endearment? Participants will leave with resources to use in their classrooms that will help their students write a persuasive essay on the n-word.

6-12

Dyan Watson taught secondary social studies before becoming an assistant professor at Willamette University’s School of Education where she teaches Educating for Equity in a Diverse Society, and Assessment and Evaluation of Teaching and Learning.

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Can’t Buy Me Love: Teaching about Clothes, Class, and Consumption

Writing can be an act of joy, a way to build classroom and school community, a tool for learning, as well as an instrument for social justice. During this hands-on workshop, participants will explore the craft and potential of writing for justice. Handouts will include openings, literary devices, conventions strategies, criteria sheets as well as student samples.

6-12

Linda Christensen is Director of the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, and the author of Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Teaching for Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word and Teaching for Joy and Justice: Re-imagining the Language Arts Classroom.

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Talking about Racism in a High School Classroom

How do we talk about racism in our classrooms and schools? How can teachers provide an avenue for students to share their stories about the injustices of racism they have personally experienced or witnessed? Workshop participants will write and share stories during this seminar on racism. Session includes a video of students engaged in the process.

7-12

Hannah Chin Pratt is a former Peace Corps volunteer and Backcountry Ranger, who currently is a Spanish teacher and GSA advisor at Lincoln High School in Tacoma.

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Engaging Students in Philanthropy for Social Justice

Last school year, Penny Harvest students collected $64,354.02, made 93 grants, and completed 14 service projects to create positive changes in their community. This workshop will teach you how to help youth distinguish between Philanthropy for Charity and Philanthropy for Social Justice, and show students how to use their time, talent, and treasure to address root causes of social problems.

K-12

Mike Beebe, who serves on the Board of Directors for Seattle Young People’s Project and is a member of Social Justice Fund Northwest and Homestead Community Land Trust, has been directing the Penny Harvest program since 2004 and is an involved community volunteer.

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Examining Your Hidden Curriculum to Improve Social Justice in Your Classroom

This workshop will present a guided tour of the hidden ways we teach, such as what is on our walls and whose voices are heard through texts. Participants will map their own classrooms and in small groups develop a plan for positively using hidden curriculum to promote more social justice.

K-12

Jacque Ensign is a teacher educator who focuses on culturally relevant approaches to teaching.

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Finding Injustice in the Numbers: Analyzing Data on Graduation Rates

Through the analysis of data, students can uncover injustice and learn how to use their discoveries as they write for justice. In this workshop, participants will explore how to use data to analyze educational attainment of diverse groups. While this is a math workshop, it is open to all participants who want to learn how to use numbers more effectively in their content areas. No math skill required.

9-12

Susan Pfohman, originally a structural engineer, teaches high school math at Renaissance Arts Academy in Portland Public Schools.

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Ganas: A Model of Bi-Cultural Latino Middle School Student Leadership Development

Ganas, in its 12th year, links Latino middle school students with University of Oregon MEChA students who provide tutoring, mentoring, cultural learning and leadership development. The goal is to develop bi-cultural leaders for the future. Come meet the Ganas students to understand what Ganas is and how to start a Ganas group at your own school.

6-9

Jill Torres has been a Ganas coordinator for three years, currently majors in Psychology and Spanish, and does leadership work within University of Oregon’s MEChA and in the larger community.

Colleen Young is a fifth-year teacher at Kelly Middle School in Eugene, Ore.

Roscoe Caron co-founded Ganas and has been doing social justice projects in the classroom for 23 years.

 

Ganas students are 7th and 8th grade Latino students at Kelly Middle School who work closely with their mentors, MEChA students from the University of Oregon.

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How to Begin to Connect Primary Children to the World

The world continues to shrink politically and culturally, yet young children are not developmentally ready to understand its scope. In this workshop we will explore, discuss, and practice ways to build global awareness for the K-1-2 children in our classrooms.

Primary/Elementary

Katie Johnson, a first grade teacher for years, is the author of three books about teaching writing with young children (Doing Words,More Than Words, and Reading into Writing), and is a fellow of the Southern Maine and Puget Sound Writing Projects.

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Indigenous Peoples Confront the Climate Crisis

The world’s indigenous people are the least responsible for climate change yet are suffering the most from its consequences. How should they respond to this injustice? This workshop will introduce participants to a recently developed, classroom-tested role play that focuses on how indigenous peoples around the world are being affected by and responding to the climate crisis — based on the recent Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change, held in April 2009.

Secondary

Tim Swinehart is a social studies teacher at Lincoln High School in Portland, an active member of Portland Area Rethinking Schools and co-convener of the Portland Area “Earth in Crisis” curriculum group.

Brady Bennon is a social studies teacher at LEP High School in Portland, and an active member of the Portland Area “Earth in Crisis” curriculum group.

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In My Family: Art as Inspiration for Personal Narrative Writing

This workshop will open with Mexican American artist, Carmen Lomas Garza’s discussion of the language discrimination Garza and her family faced growing up. We’ll explore how her artwork in In My Family celebrates the family gatherings and traditions that her schooling taught her to condemn. Using Lomas Garza’s paintings as a guide, participants will engage in activities to create written narrative snapshots based on a celebration of their own family stories and traditions as a way to “talk back” to negative portrayals of their home culture.

K-12

Kristen Schjoll and Kathryn Beck are Oregon Writing Project Teacher Consultants, bicycling buddies, and teach 6th grade Humanities at Five Oaks Middle School in Beaverton, Ore.

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Introducing the Concepts of “Common Good” and “Rights”: Setting the stage for a Democratic Classroom.

Through a hands-on demonstration of Concept Formation strategy tied to a drama activity, participants will explore a concrete way of introducing the complicated but important ideas of “Common Good” and “Rights” to elementary students. These two ideas are fundamental to Social Contracts in classrooms. This workshop will give teachers ideas for making these concepts understandable to students and fodder for classroom discussions.

Elementary

Mary Anne Christy has been traveling through seven central Seattle Public Schools as Historian in Residence for nine years, teaching stand-alone units on history to 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th graders.

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Just an Environment or a Just Environment?

How and why does racism and inequality persist? This workshop examines the causes and profound impacts of residential segregation and how it perpetuates racial inequality. Participants will engage in a mock tribunal in which they research, interpret, analyze, and apply historical data. This evidence will be considered as we examine today’s racial segregation and disparity in the United States.

9-12

Hyung Nam teaches Global Studies and U.S. History at Wilson High School in Portland, Ore. and is an editor of Rethinking Schoolsmagazine.

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Latinos in Action: How Service Can Create Positive Change

This session shows the positive changes a high school group of students, Latinos In Action, have had on the Burlington, Wash. community. While tutoring at local elementary schools during the school day, students become role models and demonstrate the power of being both bilingual and Latino.

General

Michael Sampson has taught ELL and English at Burlington Edison High School for four years working on creating a positive relationship between the bilingual Latino community, the high school, and school district.

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Learning Israel-Palestine: Connecting with Palestinian Youth and Uncovering Conflict in the Middle East

This session explores teaching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with special emphasis on incorporating into the classroom the Global Citizen Corps two-way blog and live video conferencing program (formerly the Mercy Corps “Why Not” program), which connects U.S. students with youth in the Palestinian territories.

Secondary

Ken Gadbow teaches high school social studies at Trillium Charter School in Portland; he facilitates live conversations between U.S. and Palestinian students through the “Why Not” program.

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LGBTQ Panel: Rights and Responsibilities for Queer Educators, Youth and Allies

Heterosexism and homophobia are alive and well in the public school system. Because we all share in the experiences of our co-workers and students, we are all harmed by the insidious and self-denying reality of these oppressions. Join us for a candid discussion with educators from around the region to explore three topics: 1. Experiences as queer youth and educators as well as educators’ work with queer youth; 2. Legal rights of LGBTQ educators and students; and 3. Working with/without allies.

General

Katie Baydo-Reed teaches 6th Grade at Olympic View Elementary in Lacey, WA and is a member of Olympia Educators for Social Justice.

Natalie Coots teaches 6th grade at Southern Heights Elementary in Seattle, works with ELL students and families and is a member of Puget Sound Rethinking Schools.

Todd Sessoms teaches social studies and language arts, and serves as the yearbook advisor at Highline high school in Burien, Washington.

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Media Literacy: Knowing is Half the Battle

This session focuses on analyzing media as a persuasion tool and equipping educators and students with the lenses with which to see the underlying structures. Participants will learn by interacting in small and large groups, reading, and writing. Lecture, discussion, examples and collaborative work time included in this session.

7-12

Jennifer Newton, an Evergreen MIT graduate, teaches high school Journalism, English, and AVID classes in Kent, Wash.

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Merit Pay for Teachers? Why Competition Among Teachers Won’t Improve Public Education

Teacher merit pay has become the centerpiece of a corporate education reform agenda, which argues that teacher quality will improve by paying educators based on measurements such as standardized tests. This presentation will explore the false promise of merit pay and suggest ways our communities can organize to stop it.

General

Jesse Hagopian, founder of the website “Teachers for CEO Merit Pay,” has taught for Teach for America in the Washington DC public schools, and most recently in Seattle at Madison Middle School.

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Moving from Poverty, Hunger and Homelessness to Sufficiency and Joy for All: Vital Concepts and Effective Activities in the Process of Social Justice

Experience a set of hands-on, interactive learning activities, applicable in many settings and with students of all ages. Talk about the key perspectives and questions that these activities illustrate, and ways they can be used to empower students to work for economic justice.

7-12

Kevin LaNave is a seasoned practitioner from Minnesota of action-oriented social justice education, and has taught for 20 years in a variety of settings.

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Real Talk about Race, Class, and Culture

Student achievement for all requires honest talk about race, class, and culture. However, conversation about “root causes, racism, poverty, alienation, privilege, resistance, and push-outs” takes knowledge, skill, and courage. Through the use of activities and protocols, strengthen your ability to engage in the “real talk” necessary to transform school culture.

General

Keisha Edwards has facilitated hundreds of workshops and trainings about social justice & equity with diverse people in diverse settings, and works for the Oregon Parental Information and Resource Center.

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Right to Math, Right to Water

In this interactive workshop you will experience tasks that engage you in unpacking core math concepts while appraising our social and economic relationship to clean water. You will leave with a framework that you can use to assess, revise and/or write problems that make powerful social justice connections for your students.

6-8

Jana Dean, middle school teacher and contributor to Rethinking Schools magazine, is currently visiting faculty in the Master in Teaching program at The Evergreen State College.

Lorri DeFoor is a middle school math and science teacher in Oakville, Wash. where she integrates social justice and sophisticated mathematical and scientific understanding into her classroom curricula.

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Shifting Mathematical Identities

This session explores key components of Complex Instruction, a set of teaching practices aimed to disrupt typical hierarchies of who is “smart” and who is not and to promote equal-status interactions amongst students as they engage with tasks that have high cognitive demand within a cooperative learning environment. Participants will engage in discussions about beliefs about student learning and engage in tasks that support students to work collaboratively with tasks that have high cognitive demand.

8-12

Jocelyn CoKate ByersNicole HawkinsonPhuong NguyenKim Lessig and Lisa Jilk are a team of Seattle Public Schools high school math teachers who work collaboratively with the Complex Instruction method.

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(Still) Rethinking Columbus: How the Columbus Myth Teaches Children that Racism and Colonialism Are OK — and some ideas on what to do about it

The Columbus-discovers-America myth is the first time in the curriculum that many children encounter different races confronting each other, different cultures confronting each other. Children begin to learn that social inequality is normal. In this workshop, through slides of children’s Columbus biographies, participants will examine deep biases that are imparted to students in literature and textbooks. We will also engage in classroom-tested methods to equip students to develop their critical reading abilities.

K-12

Bill Bigelow is the curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools magazine, has taught high school social studies in Portland since 1978, and is author or editor of numerous books on teaching and learning.

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Successful Inclusion from the Student’s Point of View

Through personal testimonies and shared stories, we will explore the effects on students with disabilities of stereotyping and social isolation. Participants will cooperatively develop a checklist of ways to analyze “ableism” in the physical and social environment of schools and possible solutions. Karen Gaffney’s Friends First Program and implementation packets will be explored.

7-12

Stephanie A. McBride, Portland State University, is the co-founder of the Oregon licensure program combining general and special ed for secondary teacher candidates.

Linnea Goranson is an office assistant in PSU’s Graduate School of Education, competitor in Special Olympics, and a person with Down Syndrome.

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There’s No Place Like Home: Grappling with the Conflict Over Palestine in a Humanities Classroom

Cultivating an atmosphere of critical thinking is essential for all classrooms, especially at the middle and high school levels. Starting personal, we approach this conflict with a discussion of the connotative/denotative understanding of “home”. The workshop incorporates reading, writing, and thinking activities, easily differentiated for grades 7-12.

Secondary

Hope Teague is a 2006 Evergreen MIT graduate, member of Tacoma Coalition X, and a community activist. She serves in the Freshmen Academy at Clover Park High School in Lakewood, Wash.

Nathan Bowling is an Air Force veteran and graduate of the Evergreen State College MIT program who teaches at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, while maintaining membership on the Board of Directors for GI Voice/Coffee Strong.

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Tribal Voices: Intellectual Property Rights and the Teaching of Regional Tribal History and Culture

New legislation has paved the way for culturally competent teaching of Native American History in Washington State with a new Tribal Sovereignty curriculum resource developed by a team of Washington educators and Tribal representatives. We will discuss the definition of intellectual and cultural property as defined in an agreement between the 29 Tribes in Washington and various state education agencies. In small groups, we will discuss the language of this important document, what it means for teaching the history of regional Tribes, and how it can help guide our teaching.

K-12

Michi Thacker is a teacher in the Options Program at Lincoln School in Olympia.

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Unpacking Unconscious Bias: What Well-Meaning Educators Should Know

By examining racial micro-aggressions, this workshop will raise participants’ awareness of well-intended phrases, actions, and assumptions that belie unconscious stereotypes and biases. We will look at ways to cultivate a welcoming school environment based on a deeper understanding of racism and privilege, rather than a presumption of colorblindness.

K-12

Ilsa Govan is the co-founder of Cross Cultural Connections who draws on her 10 years of experience as a classroom teacher to help others critically analyze and redefine the culture of our schools.

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Writing Our Lives to Develop Cross-Cultural Understanding

What does it feel like to be a stranger in a new country, a newcomer in an established classroom or school, or a parent visiting a school? In this hands-on workshop, participants will engage in reading and writing strategies that help students develop literacy skills as well as cross-cultural understanding.

K-12

Beth Essex works as an ESL TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) in Portland Public Schools.

Elizabeth Schlessman is a bilingual fifth grade teacher in Woodburn, Ore.

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Service Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
12:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Weekend Masses In Español

Saturday Vigil: 6:15pm

Sunday: 9:00am, 7:15pm

Weekday Morning Masses

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 am

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