When Tragedy Strikes: Teaching for Equity and Justice on Days After Traumatic Events
What should teachers do on the days after major events, tragedies, and traumas, especially when injustice is involved?
By highlighting the voices of teachers who are pushing beyond their concerns and fears about teaching for equity and justice, participants will see how educators can address negative reactions from parents and administrators, welcome all student viewpoints, and negotiate their own feelings. These inspiring stories come from diverse areas such as urban New York, rural Georgia, and suburban Michigan, from both public and private schools, and from classrooms with both novice and veteran teachers. This workshop can support current classroom teachers and help preservice teachers think ahead to their future classrooms.
In this timely discussion, Dr. Dunn highlights teacher and student narratives that reveal what classrooms do and can look like in the wake of these critical moments. Participants will learn:
• The importance of “Days After” pedagogy
• How to respond across grade levels and content areas
• How to push back against calls for “neutrality” and “apolitical” classrooms
Dr. Alyssa Hadley Dunn
Associate Professor of Teacher Education
Dr. Alyssa Hadley Dunn is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. She has been at MSU for 8 years and, before that, was an Assistant Professor of Urban Education at Georgia State University. A former high school teacher, Dr. Dunn now focuses her teaching, research, and service on urban education for social and racial justice. She studies how to best prepare and support teachers to work in urban schools and how to teach for justice and equity amidst school policies and reforms that negatively impact teachers’ working conditions and students’ learning conditions. She has written two award-winning books and dozens of journal articles, and her third book is the focus of this talk: Teaching on Days After: Educating for Equity in the Wake of Injustice (Teachers College Press, December 2021). A committed public scholar, she has been a contributor to the Huffington Post and National Public Radio. Among other awards, Dr. Dunn most recently is the winner of the Critical Educators for Social Justice Revolutionary Mentor Award from the American Educational Research Association as well as Michigan State University’s Teacher–Scholar of the Year Award.
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