Individual Presentation or Panel Title

The Curriculum Challenge: Classrooms as Sites of Resistance

Abstract

Yacine Kout and Revital Zilonka teach respectively French at the high school level and pre-service teachers in a college of education. The presentation will address the challenges of social justice educators working with students that often resist critical and thoughtful educational experiences.

Yacine: As a social justice minded educator I realized within my first month of teaching French that my job was to teach language through othering and a touristic approach. In response to a curriculum that promotes ignorance and banking I developed a parallel curriculum which I entitled Thinking as a First Language to stress that learning French is more than memorization through an illusory one to one word correspondence. Through this curriculum I aim for my students to be exposed to another way of thinking and doing in order to gain a sense of possibility.

Revital: As a social justice educator, I come to the classroom wanting to wake up the students I teach. Often, they don’t want to be bothered by real world problems related to the education system, although they encounter them as interns. The curriculum that I have developed promotes critical thinking, connection, the ability to pay attention and to foster compassion and sensitivity to people that don’t necessarily sound and look like them.

While their students come from two different settings both presenters have found similarities in the resistance their students have exercised. The suggested presentation will explore how both Kout and Zilonka’s curricula address the students’ resistance.

Presentation Description

Yacine Kout and Revital Zilonka teach respectively French at the high school level and pre-service teachers in a college of education. Their presentation addresses the challenges of social justice educators working with students that often resist critical and thoughtful educational experiences. Both presenters will explore the common spaces between the curricula they have developed.

Keywords

curriculum, resistance, otherness, critical pedagogy, connection, compassion, foreign language

Location

Magnolia Room C

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Jun 11th, 2:00 PM Jun 11th, 3:15 PM

The Curriculum Challenge: Classrooms as Sites of Resistance

Magnolia Room C

Yacine Kout and Revital Zilonka teach respectively French at the high school level and pre-service teachers in a college of education. The presentation will address the challenges of social justice educators working with students that often resist critical and thoughtful educational experiences.

Yacine: As a social justice minded educator I realized within my first month of teaching French that my job was to teach language through othering and a touristic approach. In response to a curriculum that promotes ignorance and banking I developed a parallel curriculum which I entitled Thinking as a First Language to stress that learning French is more than memorization through an illusory one to one word correspondence. Through this curriculum I aim for my students to be exposed to another way of thinking and doing in order to gain a sense of possibility.

Revital: As a social justice educator, I come to the classroom wanting to wake up the students I teach. Often, they don’t want to be bothered by real world problems related to the education system, although they encounter them as interns. The curriculum that I have developed promotes critical thinking, connection, the ability to pay attention and to foster compassion and sensitivity to people that don’t necessarily sound and look like them.

While their students come from two different settings both presenters have found similarities in the resistance their students have exercised. The suggested presentation will explore how both Kout and Zilonka’s curricula address the students’ resistance.