Project focus: Providing educators with an integrated approach to shaping democracy in the classroom
Educator Workshop Series: "Raise Your Voices: Shaping Democracy in the Classroom"
Participants: Rosa Cabrera and Michaela Marchi, Center for Cultural Understanding and Change, The Field Museum
Facilitator Michaela Marchi leads Chicago educators in "Raise Your Voices" workshop.
Through a series of unique workshops aimed at teachers, National Diversity Education Program participants Rosa Cabrera and Michaela Marchi, both of the Center for Cultural Understanding and Change at the Field Museum in Chicago, explored diversity and democracy using an integrated approach that incorporated the resources of local museums and cultural centers, the tools of cultural anthropology, and frameworks for social justice education.
"Our experience suggests that museums and cultural centers – particularly historical and cultural sites – are safe and welcoming environments where people can engage in public dialogue about contemporary issues that provoke multiple viewpoints," say Cabrera and Marchi. "Cultural anthropology helps us understand differences among the whole range of social, political, economic and religious behaviors. And a social justice education framework helps make the link between equity in the classroom and curriculum transformation. Teachers need to become culturally conscious in order to be responsive to their increasingly diverse students."
The workshop series, called "Raise Your Voices: Shaping Democracy in the Classroom," engaged participants in a process of critical self-analysis and reflection about how who we are, influences how we teach. By the end of the series, participants gained a broader understanding of the intricacies of identity, ethnic membership, the role of educators as agents of social change, and the relationship between diversity and democracy.
The workshop series had three main goals:
Critical self-analysis and reflection by understanding self as 1) a cultural being, then 2) a cultural broker, and then 3) an agent of social change
Explore the essential question: "Why and how is diversity the foundational and functional basis for American democracy?"
Create a project for the classroom
WORKSHOP DETAILS AND EXERCISES
WORKSHOP 1 – "I See"
What is culture? Cross-cultural comparisons
Self-identity and worldview
Stereotypes and Relocation experience (museum presentation)