Teacher Adapts Curricula to Circumvent Institutional Discrimination – Podcast Episode 183 | Classnotes Podcast 183

Classnotes Podcast (June 4, 2018) Conversations about institutional discrimination usually take place at the macro, big-picture level. And those are important conversations about policies and practices that target or exclude hundreds of thousands of students each year on account of race, sex, gender, national origin, religion, disability, among other factors. But high school English teacher, Andres López, M.Ed., decided not to wait for structural changes.

In this episode, he describes what institutional discrimination looks like at the classroom level and what he’s doing to make sure his content is culturally-relevant. He is joined by David Hinojosa, J.D., director of the IDRA EAC-South, who describes the experience of equity assistance center’s work in helping schools rethink of relevant, equity-based strategies. The IDRA EAC-South provides technical assistance and training to build capacity of local educators to serve their diverse student populations.

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Show length: 14:43


Mexican-American Film and Literature at Stevens HS in San Antonio, Andres López, M.Ed., webpage

Sample Mexican-American Literature Book Drive, Andres López, M.Ed., classroom

Students as Co-Collaborators in Teaching & Learning – Advice from the Field, IDRA Newsletter article by Andres López, M.Ed.,

Institutionalized Discrimination… Does it Exist in Your School? by David Hinojosa, J.D., IDRA Newsletter

Six Goals of Educational Equity and Reform – Equity Ranking Scale

“Teaching To and Through Cultural Diversity,” by G. Gay, Curriculum Inquiry

“The Theory and Practice of Culturally Relevant Education: A Synthesis of Research Across Content Areas,”by B. Aronson & J. Laughter, Review of Educational Research

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Show Notes

  • David introduces the topic of institutionalized discrimination – both its history and how it continues with today’s practices and behaviors.

  • Based on his own experiences, Andres considers how this these behaviors can impact teacher hiring, particularly teachers of color.

  • David talks about IDRA EAC-South’s experience in helping schools to rethink equity-based strategies for hiring teachers.

  • Andres discusses the post-hiring transition for new teachers, and the challenges of finding culturally relevant content to bring into the classroom, especially without an established “network of allies” to lean on.

  • Andres shares stories of teachers stretching beyond the standard curriculum and how that approach can enhance and transform the learning experience of their students.

  • Andres concludes with lessons learned from the Mexican American literature course he’s been teaching to high school freshmen, the first class of its kind in San Antonio.