University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
The Student Teachers Anti-Racism Society (STARS) promotes anti-racism education at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan through the support of the College. We work collaboratively to understand, identify, and address individual and systemic racism and its interlocking forms of oppression based on gender, sexuality, ability, class, religion and other socially constructed categories. We believe that anti-racist and decolonizing education, when woven together, can create humanizing and emancipatory change for everyone.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What did your students learn in class today?

Have you ever witnessed or experienced troubling cross-cultural or race-based encounters in an educational setting and wondered how to effectively address it? Check out this UBC project which has the potential to create positive changes in our classrooms.

How Do You Talk About Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom?

"What I Learned in Class Today: Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom is a research project that explores difficult discussions of Aboriginal issues that take place in classrooms at the University of British Columbia. Students frequently report troubling and sometimes traumatic discussions of cultural issues in class. These situations often affect their ability to function in their coursework, and even their ability to return to class.

The project looks at how the challenges around talking about race work as an educational barrier at the classroom level. This is something that has not been sufficiently addressed in educational institutions, and yet, is something that desperately needs to be discussed.
Classrooms, especially classrooms at major institutions like UBC, are becoming increasingly diverse and require attention in order to have effective cross-cultural discussions. This project works to improve the conversations around politically and culturally sensitive issues in a classroom by asking: how does cultural communication happen in a classroom, and how can it be improved?

Developed in the First Nations Studies Program at UBC, this project examines the experiences of students, instructors, and administrators at the university to make these problems visible, better understand how difficulties arise, and to find ways to have more professional and productive classroom discussions."

Issues surrounding culture and race impact our students' lives every day. These issues are real and meaningful to students; providing an open, honest and safe space for discussions is one of the most effective ways we can teach and learn from our experiences and observations regarding racism. stereotypes, myths, etc.

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