Kicking Off Inquiry to Action (ItAG) Study Groups

December 31, 2009 Leave a Comment

Chicago's Teachers for Social Justice is excited to launch Inquiry to Action Groups (ItAGs)-- an opportunity for educators and their allies to build community, access new resources, and link social justice with classroom practices. ItAGs are small groups of educators, parents, students, activists, teaching artists, and community members who meet to share experiences, dialogue about readings, exchange ideas and develop plans of actions. The goal of these ItAGs is to pursue a common inquiry on a social justice topic and create an action around this area of study.

2010 ItAG topics
* Hip Hop and Education, date TBD
Explore the intersection of Hip Hop and education for social justice.

* Arts and Education, Sundays from 12:00 to 2:00
Explore the connection between art and social justice.

* Social Justice in Early Childhood Education: Saurdays from 3:00 to 5:00.
Geared toward parents, early childhood teachers, childcare workers, and anyone with a stake in the education of young children, this ItAG will focus on ways to teach 2 to 9-year olds with an orientation toward social justice. As a group, we'll collectively select topics, and our discussions will involve sharing personal experience as well as engagement with readings. Examples of possible themes include protecting a place for imaginative play in this era of testing, development of understandings of race, gender, and sexuality, advocating for early childhood workers, working with and standing by families, practicing nonviolent communication and rethinking classroom management and discipline etc.

* The Education for Liberation Movement: Sundays from 4:00 to 6:00
The Education for Liberation ItAG will be organized around some key questions:
Š What are different ways of thinking about education for liberation;
Š how have different authors written about it;
Š how has it been practiced in various parts of the world?
Although the ItAG members will decide what specifically we read (and do) and whether, for example, we'll focus on critical pedagogy (i.e., what does this look like in my/the classroom), broader theoretical questions, or what it looks like concretely in the struggles in Chicago against R2010, we'll start with reading Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of Hope, which repeats many of the themes within Pedagogy of the Oppressed, but puts them in historical context and is more accessible in many ways.

* New Teachers and Teaching for Social Justice: Saturdays from 10:00 to 12:00
Engage in a dialogue with experienced teachers about issues of social justice in education. Hear from a variety of perspectives, disciplines and grade levels.

--January 15, 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM -- ItAG kickoff event for all ItAG groups, Decima Musa, 1900 S Loomis
--January to March -- ItAGs meet weekly for at least 6 weeks, usually for 2 hour sessions
--March 12 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM -- ItAG finale event, ItAG groups come together to report back on their learning and actions
Please contact Jonah Bondurant at holajonah(at)hotmail.com and Sarah
Atlas at seatlas(at)gmail.com. Thanks!


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