Cultivating Genius Chapter 2

Marvelous Monday!

Have you started reading, Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy? You don’t want to miss out on this book! 

This week, we are discussing Chapter Two from Gholdy Muhammad’s thought-provoking book.

Consider this quote from pages 45-46, “Gay (2010) suggests that students’ interests and engagement in learning increase when educators use pedagogies connected to their experiences. Additionally, teachers using this approach see curriculum as a tool of power and a disruption of marginalization. In contrast, when students in classrooms do not receive such curriculum with elements of care, love, and respect at the center, they tend to display resistance to the curriculum and instruction, as well as to teachers and to the school (Johnston, D’Andrea Montalbano & Kirkland, 2017). This resistance is usually called defiance and negative behavior in schools today.” 

Here are a few conversation starters from page 61. Choose one (or more) and share your thinking!

  • What are your students' literacy practices outside of the classroom? What do they read and write? How do they speak? What are the ways in which they know about the world around them?

  • How does the diversity of teachers align with diversity of students and of the community?

  • Are teachers prepared to teach in response to students’ histories, identities, literacies, and language? How do you know?

The Read It Forward committee is looking forward to having this online conversation with you! Thank you for growing in collaborative professionalism together! 

Please comment below. 

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Comments on "Cultivating Genius Chapter 2 "

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Gretchen Pratt - Monday, March 15, 2021

Q: How does the diversity of teachers align with diversity of students and of the community? A: I have never worked in a place where the racial diversity of staff matched the student population. It is troubling. Within each school, I have had fewer than 10 teachers who were not white. When I question leadership about this, there does not seem to be a lot they can do... but that doesn't seem right. I would love to hear more about any district that is actively recruiting to hire and retain intersectionally diverse teaching and administration staff. What can we do? Another issue I continue to ponder as I read - How do schools and districts build relational trust with families? How do we make authentic connections and relationships with families who feel unrepresented or in the curriculum, culture, and staff of the schools?

Joanne M. Weiler - Monday, March 15, 2021

Just had a difficult conversation with an adult student that I am tutoring. She is thinking about dropping her goal to attend school and complete a GED because of the disrespect she felt from an authority figure at school. We had to define professional and respectful this morning.

Joyce Uglow - Monday, March 15, 2021

These questions are truly thought-provoking. I’m going to reread.

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