Listen, Then Talk: Using Conversations about Books of the Year to Model Culturally Responsive Teaching
By Ann Jache Ph.D.
Context of the Inquiry
APU/UAA’s Books of the Year Program recommended course material on Alaska Native issues directly related to courses I teach. However, traditional methods of instruction and classroom interaction do not always employ Alaska Native ways of learning and may contribute to the disadvantage described in these texts.
The Ford Foundation: Difficult Dialogue Series and Start Talking text, the Ford Foundation: Alaska Native Intensive and the Alaska Education Innovations Network (AEIN) Culturally Responsive Teaching Study Groups offer ways to address these discrepancies.
Focus of the Inquiry
Will structured class discussions, explicit attention to classroom norms about conversational timing, and use of asynchronous technology improve student learning?
Course Design and Implementation
Classroom technology and asynchronous course elements may provide opportunities for reflection
Structured discussions provided voice for typically silent students
Employing examples from Alaska Native experience and history contributes to empathy and deeper learning about required course concepts