Spencer Foundation Launch Small Learning Communities Second Convening

1 pager of conference objectives: Build Community, Draft a Social Design Research Proposal, and outline papers for the Spencer Virtual Convening.
Objectives for Virtual Spencer Convening

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Uprising occurring across the nation, TJE hosted its second Transformative Justice Teacher Education Learning Community gatherings (Funded by Spencer Foundation) in June.  With ever more relevancy, the scholars met virtually for three days to discuss and write on the topic The Future of Transformative Justice.

TJE's first ever virtual conference convened an interdisciplinary group of classroom teachers, youth workers, scholars and teacher educators to think about what it means to teach and learn in the age of hyper-incarceration and ongoing criminalization of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Immigrant, Muslim, differently-abled, and queer students and their families. "The Future of Transformative Justice." asked participants to use their research and expertise to imagine what a transformative and justice-seeking approach to teaching math, social studies, ELA, and science should look like, sound like and feel like for teachers and students in the year 2030.

Participants were organized into Transformative Justice Teacher Education small working groups including Transformative Justice Science Education, Transformative Justice Mathematics Education,Transformative Justice Social Studies/History Education, and Transformative Justice Literacy Education to grapple with the question "How do we teach so that people stop killing?" and "What is the future of Transformative Justice Education". Using restorative justice theory and methods, participants leveraged TJE's Five Pedagogical Stances, History Matters, Race Matters, Justice Matters and Language Matters, and Futures Matter (Winn, 2018) for paradigm shifting toward justice in classrooms and schools.

This  convening was devoted to the following objectives to help us imagine how educators across Math, Science, Social Studies, & ELA classrooms can draw upon TJTE frameworks in their practice.  

Tree trunk shaped into hand with different colored handprints as leavesBuilding Community | Utilizing Zoom and our TJTE Slack live workspaces, participants engaged in virtual circle-processes to continue building community and create more humanizing academia experience. Though transformative justice circle processes and practices, the aim was to cultivate and foster bonds that transcend physical spaces and boundaries as participants work remotely.  

 

image of person giving a virtual presentation with person sitting in front of screen taking notesLearning in Community | Through virtual platforms, the convening created a structure for on-line & off-line writing. Virtual presentations & workshops from Noreen Rodriguez and special guest Thomas Phillips provided space to learn from and with experts, to inform development of TJTE tools and assessments. 

 

person with short hair and green earring and shirt facing forward with a laptop in front of themCreating in Community | Using Zoom virtual breakout groups and our TJTE Slack live workspaces, participants worked in discipline groups to draft their white-paper series. By the end of the convening, Spencer Convening created outlines of the rigorous tools and assessments schools and educators can employ to implement transformative justice across multiple disciplines.