How do you teach about urban education? Moving away from the white savior narrative

Dangerous mindsIt is challenging to teach urban education to students who have no experience with it. I surface their stereotypes of urban schools on the first day. They often say that urban schools are violent and scary places. From there, my objective is to undo those stereotypes. First, I give my students some history and grounding in a particular city. In my case, I am closest to Baltimore, so the focus of my urban education course is there. I also have students visit urban schools, talk to teachers, students, and other people that work in and around urban schools. They are asked to lots of other assignments, and by the end of the course, when they have reflected, almost all of them have said how wrong their initial perceptions were. You can view my syllabus here Spring 2015 HH229.

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