My Write On collaborator, Francis Sparks, took on the interviewer role this time to chat with Matt Coleman, author of the mystery Juggling Kittens and a man with over 16 years experience in the public education field. check out the interview and Matt’s thoughts on the American Education system’s strengths and areas for growth here.
In this next edition of “What thrilled, engrossed, and overwhelmed Sarah during her web-browsing this week?” there is a distinct mixture of the frothy and the bitter. We don’t live in a world of pure confection, but at the same time sweetness remains for us to enjoy despite the cruelty. So, here goes:
Operation Mason Dixon has only just begun and already it deserves a bookmark for you to track Elise’s experiences as she pummels through her final year of Ph.D. studies as a Developmental Scientist. Being a Developmental Psychologist myself, I was thrilled to come across this blossoming blog via Christina & Kamille’s Twitter account. Being a suburban white woman charged with teaching courses that deal with risk, resilience, and intervention, I find myself in a constant struggle to provide my students with a whole and authentic perspective on these issues (including Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Ethnicity) given the fact that I am a privileged White woman. I am lucky to encounter students from diverse backgrounds and to have the opportunity to learn from them every day that I am in the classroom–teachers are indeed meant to be taught–but Elise’s most recent post observing how academia is at odds with the racial turmoil in our country and that our field of Developmental Science is failing people of color zeros in on the discomfort I regularly feel in my own classroom: our field is not doing justice to the scientific pursuit of eradicating injustice. And so teachers like myself are left to teach our students how to make the world better with fistfuls of studies offering caveats like “all upper middle class sample” or “only 20% of participants were African American, or Latino/a, or Asian” and only a few pieces of research that begin to approach a real representation of the developmental experiences of American infants, children, adolescents, and adults. When the teacher is privileged and White, like myself (for me to look at the trajectory of my life and say otherwise is to ignore the imbalance along racial and socioeconomic lines in our country), the inadequacy in addressing this injustice is only multiplied. I look forward to reading more of Elise’s work and about her path to earning her doctorate, which is a journey that I hope proves expeditious: Our field needs her.
2. Sweet goodness, have you seen NPR’s 100 Things You Might Also Like? The media experts at our National Public Radio have offered their own recommendation flow charts to help you locate your next novel, film, or TV show based on media you’ve already determined you love. It’s a rabbit hole worth your time–dive in!
3. My love for librarians offering their views on popular media only continues to grow. Two Bossy Dames is like a gateway drug to an entire Twitterverse of fabulous, professionally trained connoisseurs of literature, film, and everything in between. Enter Bellwether Friends. Their weekly podcast offers four libraries from across the country discussing topics from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries to classic films, X-men, and book covers of yore. It is a veritable smorgasbord of pointed critical commentary, genuine fandom, and recommendations to add to your To-Be-Read and To-Be-Watched piles. Follow them on Twitter to keep up with it all.
4. Speaking of Two Bossy Dames, thank you for their link to Jon Greenberg’s blog and his Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism–from Ferguson to Charleston. Referring back to the first item in this post, myself and other (White) academics in the social sciences need to actively educate ourselves about the issues our country, and as a result our students, face. Greenberg offers a compendium of sources informing and energizing White Americans to take responsibility for the prejudices roiling under and above the surface of our country’s daily existence and, even more importantly, to become involved in putting an end to them. Many of us educators have time off in the summer–what better time to activate our own learning than now? #BeforeFallSemester