Teaching, Learning, and Power Community Discussions

WBEZ is a publicly funded radio station that provides a wide array of programs to reflect the diversity of the Chicagoland area. This programming – including news, human interest, and pop culture – helps listeners learn about important community, national, and world issues.

"

It was great to hear the perspective of other stakeholders -- especially the students.

"

--Teaching, Learning, and Power Community Discussion Participant

"

I think that knowing there are people out there in the community that care about education like I do was most worthwhile & learning how many people are really different but are happy trying to make change.

"

--Teaching, Learning, and Power Community Discussion Participant

Audience Focus

More than 50 teachers, students, administrators, parents, and others involved in education throughout Chicago.

Goals

  1. Create space for teachers and others involved in education to explore the conditions that make learning possible in an interactive, discussion-based setting
  2. For participants to consider and re-consider the purpose of their educational efforts, as well as to better understand “power” and how it functions in education
  3. Strengthen teachers’ sense of agency and community
A photograph of students and a teacher pulling one of the students arms. The photograph is surrounded by words that came to mind when discussion participants looked at this photo.
Discussion participants wrote down one word that came to mind when looking at this image

Project Description

We have entered a strange and in some respects welcome cultural moment: people across Chicago and the nation are talking, writing, even yelling about teachers and teaching. From the length of the school-day to the relative merits of teaching corps vs. traditional teachers, 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.

To help educators explore these topics further, the Center for Civic Reflection’s Teachers’ Inquiry Project partnered with WBEZ Chicago to host four community discussions on “Teaching, Learning, and Power.” These discussions were organized with the hope that they would create opportunities for teachers city-wide to explore the conditions that make learning possible and reflect on the challenges and hopes that animate their day-to-day efforts. The four discussions – on March 7, March 15, March 20, and May 2, 2012 -- brought more than 50 educators, students, parents, and administrators together to discuss “Teaching, Learning, and Power” in an open, participatory way.

Impact

  1. 98% of participants said the “Teaching, Learning, and Power” discussions helped them to better understand the diverse perspectives of fellow community members to “some” or a “great extent.”
  2. 89% of participants said the “Teaching, Learning, and Power” discussions helped them to feel more connected to others in their field.
  3. 83% of participants said they were interested in participating in future community discussions after taking part in the “Teaching, Learning, and Power” discussions.

Tags

public programs

Back to Case Studies