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Darrow Teachers to Present at National Conference
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Darrow Teachers to Present at National Conference

Dutton and Priest to present at National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference Nov. 17-20

Darrow faculty members and Diversity Co-coordinators Nancy Dutton, Chair of the English Department, and Joel Priest, math and science teacher, will present a workshop at the Annual Convention of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in Atlanta, Georgia, November 17-20.

Their session, which will take place on Sunday, November 20, is titled "Race: Reality and Fiction," which is the name of a spring elective they co-teach at Darrow. The elective is open to juniors and seniors.

According to the session's description: "Students want to advocate for racial justice but need tools to understand and dismantle racist institutions and practices. We provide rationales, materials, and experiences from our course, which teaches secondary students to apply understandings of racism and the construction of race to fictional and real incidents."

Mirroring the actual course, the session will address essential questions and topics such as:

  • What does it mean when biologists say that human races do not exist?
  • What does it mean when historians say that race was created in the last 500 years?
  • How does the idea of race inform one’s understanding of current policies and controversies?
  • How does it impact people’s lives, inform how people view races other than their own, and influence the development of one’s identity?
  • Why human variation is not racial
  • Historical creation of race categories & racism
  • Political, social, historical impacts of racism/racist structures
  • Impacts of racist structures on personal identity
  • Impacts of racist structures on current society, policies, future

"People say they are color blind but really they are color mute. They prefer not to talk about race," Dutton said. "There is fundamental knowledge that one needs in order to have responsible conversations about race. We have created an academic course that looks at race from scientific, sociological, and historical points of view that will inform personal perspectives. We try to impact students’ personal understandings as well as their understanding of race in America, and provide safe spaces in which to apply and refine their learning."

Read more about "Race: Reality and Fiction"


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