Complete THREE reflections that are grounded in Gorski’s equity literacy model as well as ask you to apply concepts from child development to EACH case study.
**ATTACHED IS THE ANALYSIS WORKSHEET**
MUST COMPLETE ONE PER CASE STUDY
CASE 6.1: BLACK LIVES MATTER
It was a Friday afternoon. Ms. Simmons, a teacher at East City School, wondered how the protest was shaping up. Local Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists had organized a protest just a few blocks from the school. They had done all the proper paperwork to site their pro- test in the area. Still, because the protest was scheduled for the block of time between when schools let out and when rush hour ends, Ms. Simmons knew tensions would be high.
If the mood of the adults who came by East City to pick up their children was any indication, her concerns were warranted. When she left school around 4:30 p.m., traffic was still a mess. She noticed several school buses trapped in the gridlock. Although she found an alternate route and got home just a half hour later than usual, the buses weren’t as easily navigated through intersections full o f pedestrians and protesters.
Having been an activist herself, Ms. Simmons understood protests could be disruptive. She was proud of the protesters for raising awareness about racism and demanding accountability in light of the recent spate of police shootings of unarmed African American men. These included one incident just a couple towns over from East City. For Ms. Simmons, the inconvenience. posed by a blocked road was well
worth the message being spread by the protesters.
Unfortunately, many adults trying to get “1:o the school to pick up their children or waiting for their children at home were not as forgiving. They were frustrated with the protestors and angry the city allowed them to protest at a busy intersection near the school Local news outlets covered the protest’s traffic disturbance and parent frustrations about the traffic as heavily as the protest itsc1£ Parents complained about BLM’s “divisiveness” and circulated their complaints on social media.
Monday morning Ms. Simmons noticed a few students wearing t-shirts with the words “All Lives Matter” and a few wearing shirts with the words “Black Lives Matter.” She could feel the tension. She saw an opportunity to engage s:tudents in a conversation about the protest and racism in the local community, but when she mentioned her desire to raise these issues in class to colleagues, they discouraged her. “Stick to academics,” one colleague said.
With the first period bell set to ring, Ms. Simmons decided to ignore her colleagues’ advice and hoped her teaching instincts would be sufficient to make the conversation constructive and informative. She wondered what she should say first.
CASE 8.2: INSUFFICIENT ACCOMMODATIONS
One of Ms. Thurston’s favorite activity was taking students to Meadow Creek Park, a nearby nature reserve, where they could explore the same trails and terrain as ecologists from the local university. She was especially excited this year because the park had hired a new education director, Ms. Parsons, who had designed a one-mile conservation hike specifically for students. Ms. Thurston couldn’t wait to take students on that hike.
Two weeks before the field trip, a new student, Justin, was added to Ms. Thurston’s class. Justin had cerebral palsy, a condition that required him to use crutches. At first Ms. Thurston was concerned about whether Justin would be able to participate in the field trip.
Although he navigated the classroom and school easily, Ms. Thurston was not sure whether the learning center in the park was accessible. Certainly, it met basic Americans with Disabilities Act standards with ramps, accessible parking, and wheelchair accessible bathrooms, but these were minimal standards.
Ms. Thurston called Ms. Parsons to inquire about the accom- modations offered for students like Justin. Ms. Parsons assured Ms. Thurston, saying, “The hike might be a bit much for Justin, but we have accommodations for students with physical disabilities and learn- ing differences. He’ll be fine.”
When the bus pulled up to the Meadow Creek learning center, Ms. Parsons was there to greet them. As the students listened to their short lesson and asked the tour guides questions, Ms. Thurston talked with Ms. Parsons about accommodations for Justin. “Looks like he can spend some time in the garden,” Ms. Thurston said.
“Unfortunately, park rules don’t allow for that,” Ms. Parsons responded. She pointed to a sign labeled “General Rules of the Reserve.”
The third rule read: “For their own safety, visitors with conditio injuries, or illnesses that may impair their mobility are not permitted on the nature paths or in the gardens. A selection of films about local ecology are available for people who are unable to participate in the hikes due to these conditions.”
Shocked, Ms. Thurston replied, “I thought you said you had accommodations. A film isn’t an accommodation!”
Heading back toward the students, Ms. Thurston wondered what to do next. Should she use this as a teachable moment? What should she say to Justin? How could she still make it a meaningful experience for him?
CASE 11.1: AN ASSIGNED NICKNAME
It was the first day of school at Treetop Elementary. Ms. Goodwin looked forward to meeting her students. She always felt excited on the first day of school, but she found the challenge of learning to pronounce students’ names quite stressful. The student body was becoming more ethnically and linguistically diverse each year, and each year she had more and more students whose names she struggled to pronounce correctly.
Once class started, she invited students to sit in a circle on the floor. “Let’s learn about one another,” she said, asking students to share their names and favorite animals. As students said their names, Ms. Goodwin repeated them, a strategy for learning names quickly. Despite her attentiveness, Ms. Goodwin found herself stumbling over the name of a student named Sarai (pronounced Sa-ra-e).
Over the next couple days Ms. Goodwin noticed she was avoiding saying Sarai’s name. She decided to ask Sarai for help. Sarai tried to help, saying her name slowly. As Ms. Goodwin continued to struggle pronouncing it, she worried Sarai was becoming uncomfortable.
Another student, Sara, was standing nearby. She looked at Sarai and said, “Our names are almost the same! Maybe you can be called Sara too so it’s easier to say.”
“OK.” Sarai replied. Ms. Goodwin asked Sarai if she was sure this would be OK. Sarai agreed. Ms. Goodwin assured her, “Sara is a pretty name too.”
For the next several weeks Sarai was introduced to students, and introduced herself to staff as “Sara”.
When it came time for conferences, Ms. Goodwin, forgetting “Sara” was not Sarai’s given name, noticed confusion on her mother’s face when she referred to her as “Sara.” She explained to Sarai’s mother that some students in class have nicknames. “Sarai said it was OK to call her ‘Sara’” Ms. Goodwin explained. “I’m sorry for not checking with you first, but hopefully it’s OK.”
Sarai’s mother seemed hesitant at first, then nodded. Relieved, Ms. Goodwin continued with the conference. She noticed, however, that Sarai’s mother seemed quieter and not as engaged as she was earlier.