The purpose of the CLACS Teacher Fellowship Program is for educators to explore and apply their expanding knowledge of the Latin America and Caribbean region, while using contemporary critical educational theory in the construction of a final curriculum project that is applicable and shareable.
Although philosophical themes of “caring” in education are observable as early as in the writings of John Dewey, “critical pedagogies of care” are most frequently associated with the later work of educators such as Paulo Freire and Bell Hooks. In fact, Freire, a Brazilian educator and social activist, is generally acknowledged as the founder of critical pedagogy. His philosophy of education emerged within the context of political revolutions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. For Paulo Friere, education should function as a tool by which the oppressed peoples of that region could find liberation and personal freedom. In the spirit of Freire’s work, our monthly seminars will focus upon how education (and caring) can assist in transforming the lives of oppressed peoples throughout Latin America and the Caribbean as well as their diaspora within the United States. Those sessions will emphasize specific forms of educational practice by which teachers are assisting students in overcoming institutionalized barriers (e.g. race, gender, social class, language, disability, etc.) to various measures of social justice including, but not limited to higher education, access to healthcare, voting, employment opportunity, etc. Working under the guidance of a mentor provided by CLACS, Teaching Fellows will research and construct an article of curriculum (e.g., research report, visual media, historical fiction, informational website, unit plan, etc.) that is appropriate for use in a P - 12 educational setting. Working within the framework of critical pedagogy/caring, participants will seek answers to questions such as:
What does it mean to have culturally relevant curricula?
How can we explain recent public criticism of emergent curriculum, such as the 1619 Project, and the more inclusive problematic of “critical race theory?”
- How can our nation’s schools best serve the needs of immigrant students?
- How can we best create more inclusive learning environments for all students?
The ten-month program will feature monthly sessions by education experts and guest speakers, each of whom possess expert knowledge of this significant geographic region and its people. These sessions will be hosted virtually over Zoom the second Saturday of every month (September-December/February-May). Teacher Fellows will also have the support of CLACS Faculty and Program Mentors throughout the program.