Addressing issues of social justice in the classroom can be, in many teaching contexts, controversial. To examine and critique the status quo, students are asked to challenge their preconcieved notions of what is "normal" or "just the way things are" and often, cultural distance, complicity, ignorance, white guilt, and more make these conversations challenging in K-12 settings. However, primary sources provide tools through which educators can frame these conversations rooted in the past and use them as bridges to address current critical social justice issues.
Using the Courageous Conversation protocol, educators can address racial disparities through safe, authentic, and effective cross-racial dialogue. This session will demonstrate how primary sources can be used as bridges in courageous conversations and how to map historical events and narratives onto contemporary issues. Using a classroom example featuring the herstory of Autherine Lucy Foster, the first African-American woman to attend the University of Alabama in 1956, Dr. Jean Swindle will demonstrate how she used primary sources to uncover two important issues affecting her students and their school: the disproportionate percentage of African-American girls subjected to school discipline in K-12 settings and the persistent segregation of Greek organizations at predominantly white institutions.
- Participants will interpret the social narratives using primary sources
- Participants will discuss the protocol for guiding students through Courageous Conversations
- Participants will recall silences during their schooling experiences and reflect on the lasting effects of that silencing