We have entered a strange and in some respects welcome cultural moment: people across Chicago and the nation are talking, writing, and even yelling about teachers and teaching. From the length of the school-day to the relative merits of teaching corps vs. traditional teachers to how best to measure student achievement, teaching and learning are in the news. But for a range of reasons and from a number of perspectives, much of this talk about teaching can seem incomplete. Too often, our talk about teaching addresses outcomes without giving enough consideration to the conditions that lead toward them. Too often, our talk about teaching and learning seems to leave actual teaching and learning out of the mix.
In these “Teaching, Learning, and Power” discussions, the Project on Civic Reflection’s Teachers’ Inquiry Project will partner with WBEZ to create opportunities for teachers to explore the conditions that make learning possible. These will not be problem-solving exercises or grading sessions but opportunities for teachers city-wide to reflect on the challenges and hopes that animate their day-to-day efforts to teach our children well.
Each discussion – March 7th at the WBEZ West Side Bureau, March 15th at the WBEZ South Side Bureau, and March 20th at the WBEZ North Side Bureau – will provide educators with a structured opportunity to engage in facilitated exploration of the following questions:
• What do we most want for our students – and for ourselves, as people who teach?
• What challenges stand in the way of getting these things that we want?
• What kinds of power do teachers have, and what kinds of power do they lack?
• How do we – whether we are teachers, students, parents, administrators or educational authorities – determine what we value and what we focus on?
The chief goals of these discussion programs will be to consider and re-consider the purpose of our educational efforts and to strengthen teachers’ sense of agency and community.
Online reservations for the March 7 West Side Bureau event is now closed. Walk-ups are welcome, or you can email Project on Civic Reflection directly to reserve your spot. Also consider registering now for the March 15 or March 20 discussion (links posted above).
Support for Chicago Public Media's Community Bureaus is provided in part by Dr. Scholl Foundation, Met Life Foundation, and Crown Family Philanthropies.
Also on Education:
WBEZ invites listeners to participate in a monthly discussion with Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. On the first Thursday of every month from 7-8pm, Mr. Brizard joins Schools on the Line host Dan Weissmann to field questions and calls from listeners. Find out more at www.wbez.org/schoolsontheline.
WBEZ's flagship immersion journalism series Front & Center will consider Literacy in-depth this spring. In cities like Chicago and Detroit, it’s estimated nearly 50 percent of the adult population has trouble reading. The issue is more important than ever in this changing economy. May 2012, Front & Center: Literacy will examine the cost of low literacy and strategies to move forward. Find out more wbez.org/frontandcenter.