MAS 185 - Social Science / Mexican American Studies 185...

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1 Social Science / Mexican American Studies 185 Teaching in a Diverse Society: Methods for Teaching in California Schools Monday & Wednesday 12-1:15pm, Location: CL 318 Course Website: Marcos Pizarro, 924-5584, Office: Uchida Hall (YUH) 34 Office Hours: M 2-5:30pm, T 9:30-11am, and by appointment The objective of this course is to provide future teachers with a complex understanding of the ways in which diversity in the classroom influences the learning process, and how specific teaching strategies (informed by an understanding of these relationships) can enhance student learning. The focal point of the class is the development of pedagogies that are effective with all students, which requires approaches that attend to the unique needs of different groups of students. This emphasis will allow us to not only study and discuss teaching strategies, but to analyze the methods used in the class itself and develop them through student teaching. Diversity is an immense topic and one that we can never fully explore. Because of this, we will organize the course around the idea of school as potential sites for embodying social justice. This is also a broad area of focus, but the rationale behind this approach is connected to the reason this course was developed. Recent efforts to help teachers better understand the needs of disenfranchised communities are a response to the fact that schools have often led to the reproduction of social inequalities. Efforts in teacher training to deal with diversity were initially a response to this, although they have often ignored the issues underlying inequality and instead focused on “teaching” the characteristics of those experiencing inequality. By focusing our work on becoming effective teachers in diverse communities through the lens of social justice, we will be able to develop models and approaches that can be adapted to the needs of any group of students. Assignments The first assignment we will take on is the Weekly Journal . On Wednesdays (beginning 2/10 and ending 4/28), we will make time at the end of class to write a journal entry on the class, what we are learning, what we are struggling with, what we are still needing, etc. Students have the option to turn those in at the end of class or to go home and submit them by e-mail some time that day. I have organized the readings around my area of expertise for a few reasons. First, this is what I know, live and breathe. I strive to share readings that I understand deeply and whose authors I know have integrity and embody the principles integrated in their work. I know almost all of the authors we will be reading personally. This does leave us with gaps in terms of other arenas of diversity. We will address this in two ways. First, we will always ask how the insights of our readings apply to other types of diversity (including, gender, sexual orientation, class, ability and other areas that are important to us), as well as the ways in which the readings fall
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MAS 185 - Social Science / Mexican American Studies 185...

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