Final Project: On Abolitionist Pedagogy and Praxis or…

by db

i find myself vacillating between two possible options to explore for the final project for our course. overall, i’m really interested in helping educators cultivate inclusive, anti-racist/anti-oppressive classroom spaces. personally, i have found abolitionist praxis most useful in facilitating humanizing, student-centered learning. my ambitious project is to create a online, public-facing syllabus (one that is unrestrained by the academy) that explores abolition. i recognize that “abolition” can be a controversial/polarizing issue, and feel it is important to create space to explore these challenging topics. i was recently especially moved by the work of Kyncard, and her online syllabus on black feminist pedagogies: i want to more deeply engage with what learning looks like when there isn’t gate-keeping, when more of us have access. i’m not sure yet what platform would be most suitable for this particular project, although as a long time Roxane Gay fan (and recent Patty Krawec fan), i’m drawn to their use of substack.

the other project i am exploring for ITP would investigate resources for educators to integrate AI into their existing curriculum. my research questions: can AI help to eliminate the need to cheat? how could intentional integration of these technologies encourage development of authentic voice in middle school students? what current conditions encourage cheating/plagiary in middle school students?

that’s all i have for now…still ideating.

5 thoughts on “Final Project: On Abolitionist Pedagogy and Praxis or…

  1. Brieanna Scolaro (They)

    Hey D, its B!

    Its cool to be reflecting between two ideas. Both are important and both will feel different to explore. I want to leave you with a few questions to reflect on:

    1) what will walking down each of these two paths feel like for the rest of the semester?

    2) it is hard to do this work, and i wonder given whatever is on your plate or soul right now, how you can continue to care for yourself in the exploration of either topic. Whuch is more manageable

    3) totally different than my previous question, but: which path would you regret MORE not exploring?
    4) in what ways are your two paths intertwined?

    Id love to keep in touch as our ideas unfold and we walk down our paths. Let me know if you ever want to talk through ideas or even what the journey of exploring your idea feels like.


  2. Jen Hoyer (she/her)

    D, your idea of working on resources for integrating AI into existing curriculum reminded me of a conversation I had with a school librarian friend last week; she wanted to make some lesson plans specific to different aspects of working with AI in the research process…and so she asked ChatGPT to make those lesson plans for her! My sense was that what she got wasn’t appropriate for the learning level she was working with, but at the same time, it got her started down the road of thinking more clearly about what WOULD work. And so…if you’re trying to think about whether you really want to focus on that second project idea, one way to look for inspiration might be through a conversation with ChatGPT, to see if anything it produces inspires you to do more / better?!

  3. Tuka Al-Sahlani

    Hey D,

    I love both project ideas, and I am thinking one can influence the other ( or they probably have and that’s why you are proposing both). I think anti-racist or abolitionist ideas can be the foundation to think of cheating and plagiarism policies as forms of policing and surveillance as we read last week and so land under the same umbrella of what happens to knowledge creation and knowledge production when there is no gate-keeping. Both projects have their individual value, separately, but my mind is thinking both are needed and so , please D, do both ( in due time, of course). As for platform, ( and this is inspired by last nights ITP showcase), maybe you can survey the teachers at your school, or students in Urban Ed or Social Work , or the TLC , and ask what platform is most used by inservice teachers and what features to they need/want in a resource or platform?

    Hope this helps! Also, let me know if I can support you in any other way!

  4. Katina Rogers (she/her)

    Deferring to others because all the questions asked above are so thoughtful. Keep us posted as you reflect on these possibilities—both have really solid potential and I’ll look forward to seeing the direction you choose to go.

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