Emdin (2016) Select Chapters.pdf - 20 I Drawi value man m0re ing ir Chris proar He br ban r lenge TOR WHIIE FOLKS WHO TEA(H IN IHE HOOD AND THE RESI OF

Emdin (2016) Select Chapters.pdf - 20 I Drawi value man...

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Drawi value man m0re ing ir Chris proar He br ban r lenge studr r00m dentr 20 I TOR WHIIE FOLKS WHO TEA(H IN IHE HOOD... AND THE RESI OF Y'AI.t TOO urban education experts typically don,t live in urban communi- ties' They don't 100k like the students they discuss in *..ting, ".rd conferences, and when they do, th"y oft.r, make class distinctions that separate them from students. Mort importantly, they don,t con- sider their distance from these .o._rrriú., as an impediment to their ability ro engage in the work within them. The leaders within the field ofurban education can,r farhom the day-to-day experiences of urban students who see themselves as ready to learn despite not being perceived that way. They don't see the deep connections that exist between urban havecomeroviewï::i::'"ï: j..l:.,J"..f lîilïïî]'î".,11 outside school has little to no impact o., rvh", happens inside school. This discourse among ,,experts,, (politicians, professors, media pun- dits) has made it okay for r"".h.., to '"o.k .,'ithi., urban communities they either refuse ro live in or are afraid to live in. The narure of how we view urban-education expertise has created a context that dismisses srudents' lives and experiences while concurrently speak- ing about, and advocating for, equity and improving schools. Con- sider, for example, the growing number of new charter schools in urban communities with words like st¿ccess, reform, and, equityin their names and mission sratements, but which engage in teaching prac- tices that focus on making the school and the studenrs within it as separate from the community as possible. I engaged in a Twitter debate with one of these educators recently and was astounded by the fervor wirh which he defended his school,s practice of ,,cleaning these kids up and giving them a better life.,, !'ith that sraremenr, he described eu.ru,li,.,, that is wrong with the culture of urban education and the biggest h]rd."r,.. to white folks who teach in the hood. First, the b"li"i th"t srudents are in need of "cleaning up" presumes that they are dirty. Second, the aim of ,,giv- ing them a better life', indicate. thut th"i, presenr life has little or no value. The idea that one individual or school can give students "a life'emanates from a problematic savior comprex that results in making students, their varied experiences, their emotions, and the good in their communities invisible. So invisible, in fact, that the (AMARADERIE / 21 chief way to teach urban youth of color more effectively_that is, to truly be in and in touch with their communities-is not seen as a viable option. Physical place and EmotionalSpace To be in touch with the community, one has to enter into the phys- ical places where the srudenrs live, and work to be invited into the emotion-laden spaces the youth inhabit. The places may be housing projects or overcrowded apartment buildings, but the spaces are whar philosopher Kelly oliver describes as psychic.2 They are filled with emotions like fea¡ anger, and a shared alienation from the norms of school, birthed from experiences both within and outside the
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