2011 TSJ Inquiry to Action Groups (ItAGS)

January 6, 2011 Leave a Comment

TSJ is excited to announce our 2nd annual round of Inquiry to Action Groups (ItAGs). The ItAGs gather educator activists and their allies to study, dialogue, share resources, build community and create an action around social justice issues in education.

The ItAGs will meet once a week for 6 weeks starting the week of January 22 and conclude with a finale, same place, same time, March 12, where all the ItAGs will reconvene to share their work.

Signup is officially closed for 2011. See you at the March 12 Closing Event!

2010 Kickoff Event

On January 22nd at 5 PM, join us at Marwen, 833 N. Orleans, one block north of Chicago Ave. (right off the Chicago bus line and a block away from the Franklin brown line stop) to meet the facilitators and fellow participants to kick-off this year's ItAGs and build a community of people committed to social justice in education.

2011 ItAG Topics

LGBTQIA issues in education

This discussion group is a space for a community of queer teachers and allies of LGBTQIA issues in education.  Possible discussion topics include history of queer issues in education, skill shares of how to incorporate LGBTQIA issues in curriculum, story telling of our own experiences, etc. The direction of the discussion topics will primarily be based on the interest of the people who attend.

Jenny Weston is a 4th grade teacher at a cps school, 2 years as a tsj member, member of Chicago childcare collective. Ali Jennings is a plowing through her seventh year of teaching nursery school at Park West Cooperative Nursery School.  She has happily attended TSJ's curriculum fair over the years and has also organized with Chicago Dyke March.

Media Literacy & Education

This group will explore the interactions between media and education. We will start by understanding how we define media- conventional, alternative and abstract concepts- and explore how education does and could interact with these media models. Possible subsequent discussions may include: media literacy in educational settings and outside the classroom; power and oppression in media structures and language; using/creating media as a teaching tool; along with other topics brought up by the group. We hope to encourage participation from a diversity of voices that have a stake in these issues: educators, students, media makers and anyone who is exposed to media (everyone).

Facilitators: Lisa Matuska is a freelance reporter for the Chicago News Cooperative and coordinates youth media campaigns at WRTE Radio Arte. She also teaches ESL at Dorthy Stang Adult Popular Education High School and coaches at a girls sports program in Chicago. Allan Gomez works at Radio Populares, CAN TV and is an experienced youth & adult educator

ELL, Bilingualism and Popular Education

How do we connect English language learning (ELL or ESL) with social justice?
This ItAG will explore the intersections of social justice and English language learning with an emphasis on popular education and bilingualism/biliteracy. Some questions we may want to consider:
how is English language teaching a political act? how do we promote our student(s)' home language/culture in the classroom? how is popular education more than a set of techniques in the ELL & Bilingual classroom/tutoring? what's our role as a teacher/ tutor/ facilitator? how do we build curriculum? how do we integrate speaking, listening, reading, writing activities related to social/community issues? This ItAG is open to all educators from early childhood to adult education.

Megan Wells has been the adult education coordinator and ESL instructor at Howard Area Community Center for the past 9 years. She has also taught ESL at Dorothy Stang Popular Education Adult High School and is a member of the Popular Education Alliance.

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

This study group will focus on social, historical, and political foundations of education and centered on themes of diversity, race, ethnicity, & language in the K-12 classroom.  We will read excerpts from scholars in the field, watch films, and listen to music that reflect these issues. The group will be discussion led and focus on our own reflections about culture and race and how our definitions tie into our pedagogical practices.  We may go on some field trips as well. This group is open to everyone and anyone from all ages and study disciplines.

Facilitator: Karla Manning has been a member of TSJ for one year and has taught high school English in Chicago Public Schools for 4 years.  She has also taught for City Colleges of Chicago and volunteered as a teacher in South Africa last summer. She enjoys reading books and taking long walks on the beach.

A Look into Chicago School & Educational Struggles with Connections to Surrounding Communities - Past, Present, and Future

Main Topic: Launching inquiries into Chicago's school, community, and education struggles - past, present, and future with nat'l and internat'l connections actively identified   

Project Summary: Our ItAG inquiries will provide us with interdisciplinary content, activities, and a structure for a high school and college curriculum as one of 8 projected curricular units from A Peoples Chicago: Our Stories of Change and Struggle - a volunteer grassroots curriculum project with the Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce. All contributors are co-authors and are given credit for their work. All our products and other curricula (mostly integrated social science/language arts/fine arts) is going to be made available to each participant, to TSJ, and others.                

End Results: The products, based on each persons' interests, would become contributions to an online and possible print publication of this unit of study with our ItAG researching and documenting readings, archival research, photography, art, video, and more. We'll also do some writing and interviewing in order to document our stories. An annotated bibliography of our work will be prepared and uploaded onto the TSJ and Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce website (under construction). Each of these products will have a smaller project team within the ItAG itself - even if its 2 people getting it done. We think the ItAG will continue to meet after the 6 sessions are completed - if people choose to do so.               

Location: 4441 North Malden (just off Montrose - 2 blocks east of Clark), Basement is a Resource, Game, and Workout Room.

Facilitators: Lindsay Smith and Anton Miglietta with guest facilitators including David Stovall, Gabriel Cortez, Myrna Garcia, Lynette Danley, Kuumba Lynx, Halley Miglietta with photography activities, and possibly others.


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