LEARN with Marginal Syllabus (November): Electing to Heal

Literacy, Equity + Remarkable Notes (LEARN), the 2018-19 Marginal Syllabus, is set to begin! November’s conversation will focus on ways educators can address trauma and create safe, relational, anti-oppressive classrooms in today’s climate of political vitriol.

Earlier this month we invited you to participate in LEARN, co-developed in partnership with the National Writing Project (NWP), and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). For the remainder of the 2018-19 academic year, we’ll read, write, and engage in conversations with participants from across the educational landscape, in and out of schools, to explore the intersection of literacy and equity. We invite you to refer to the syllabus and check out the upcoming readings, made openly accessible by NCTE, the publisher of the texts we’ll read. You will also find information there about related events and conversations hosted by CLTV.

November’s Topic: Healing, Politics and Emotions in the Classroom

What does it mean to do teacher education and study literacy in a democratic society in which the lives of many are continually disenfranchised?

Electing to Heal: Trauma, Healing, and Politics in Classrooms (PDF)
by Antero Garcia and Elizabeth Dutro

This month, we focus on the ways educators can address the intersections of healing, politics and emotion in classrooms. In the article we’ll read and discuss, “Electing to Heal: Trauma, Healing, and Politics in Classrooms (PDF),” authors Antero Garcia and Elizabeth Dutro call for a more expansive conversations among English educators to think about how different groups and individuals are positioned differently in today’s political climate in ways that require safe spaces to foster healing and critical development. They ask, “What does it mean to do teacher education and study literacy in a democratic society in which the lives of many are continually disenfranchised?”

Written on the heels of the 2016 presidential election in response to teachers’ concerns about knowing how to teach in the wake of a campaign that threatened violence and stoked fear in marginalized communities, Garcia and Dutro explore the need for English teachers to respond to contemporary politics and to support students in testifying about the impact of vitriolic rhetoric and xenophobic policies.

We hope you’ll engage in a conversation of the kind Garcia and Dutro deem necessary by annotating in the margins of their provocative article.

Join the Annotated Conversation

We invite you to read “Electing to Heal: Trauma, Healing, and Politics in Classrooms (PDF),” and annotate the text with your own thoughts and reactions. Annotations are being added via the web annotation platform Hypothes.is. To add your own annotations, as well as to respond to others, sign up for your free account.

For more support, see this quick-start guide from Marginal Syllabus or this overview of Hypothes.is from KQED Teach.

Share your annotations as you read or any time throughout the month. We also encourage you to use these readings and the opportunity to annotate however it best works for you—organize a study group, bring a class you are teaching, engage as an individual, or connect it to a meeting.

Author Discussion at CLTV

Antero Garcia, co-author of “Electing to Heal: Trauma, Healing, and Politics in Classrooms,” joined CLTV for a conversation about ways educators can address trauma and create safe, relational, anti-oppressive classrooms in this age of vitriolic political rhetoric about issues facing women and people of color. Garcia is joined by educator Sarah Woodard and the co-founders of Marginal Syllabus, Remi Kalir and Joe Dillon, for a discussion of the text.