RF 2013 Breakout Session Presenters & Abstracts

Rouge Forum: Break-out Sessions Presentations (Download pdf RF2013 Breakout Schedule (May 9))

Session 1
Breakout A
Barbara Rose Heuberger: Earning Our Outrage: Moving from Awareness to Collective and Systematic Action in Higher Education There are many areas of education that generate outrage. Collectively, educators in colleges and universities have the knowledge about issues and the intellectual skills to explore them. So, if the abilities are present within education to expose and combat ineffective and damaging educational practices and policies, why do such practices and policies still exist and continue to proliferate. The session will present a framework for how to create both systemic and collective action within varied institutional cultures, including (a) identifying barriers (b) classifying “lenses” (c) developing strategies and (d) creating a structure for information sharing, strategy generating, work distribution, and reflections on impact and learning from actions that can be used for future efforts.

Greg Queen: Standards-Based Education, Social Justice and Class Struggle The rationale for and an example of a teacher created curriculum that engages kids in radical interpretations of history will be presented. The drive towards Standards Based Education and testing regimens undermine the academic freedom necessary to create and implement curriculum with the potential to create agents of social change.

Breakout B
Yvette M. Powe: Reimaging: Higher Education for Profit The purpose of this paper is to revisit College, Inc., and examine the bureaucratization of academics infringement on the right(s) to education. The infringement to education occurs (1) within the decision-making process of educational leadership(s), (2) when educational leaderships’ decision-making is maladaptive; (3) whilst pity and contempt exhibited towards the student body is reproduced in patterns of how students’ are served or disserved, and (4) when socialization or reconditioning equates to humiliation and/or criminalization. The research presented in this paper will have a destabilizing effect on the ambiance of (primarily) for-profit institutions of higher education and deliver points of transforming reforms from the bottom up.

Mivhael Mindzak: Volunteering, Unpaid Labor, and Employment: Challenging the Assault on New Teacher in Ontario A critical examination of teacher-volunteers provides a lens from which to examine the blurring boundaries between volunteerism and unpaid labour, as well as the continual assault on public education by neoliberal capitalism and the asymmetrical relationships of power which continue to disenfranchise teachers. As teachers and their unions have continually attempted to resist privatization, surveillance, regimes of accountability and the corporatist model of education, less attention has been given to the conditions under which our next generation of teachers will emerge. In the face of unpaid work, precarious employment, a competitive ethos, and an emphasis on compliance—how will our future educators respond?

Session 2
Breakout A
Chloie Stelton: “Inquiry in the Midst”: A Radical Analysis of Teacher Education from a Critical Undergraduate Lens From an undergraduate student perspective, this presentation reflects upon my understanding of the nature of “teacher culture” in the teacher education environment. This presentation considers the teacher education curriculum itself, interactions with and among fellow teacher candidates, and the current state of teacher education within a College of Education.

Jean Ann Foley: A Teacher’s Voice This performance piece features a 35-year veteran middle school teacher who is taking early retirement. She is discouraged by the corporate control of schools and her worth being measured by standardized test scores. As she packs up her classroom and shares her disappointments and triumphs as a teacher, she discovers her voice and the power of speaking out.
Eugene Brosseau The Colonization of Art Education: How the Imposition of the Common Core State Standards Initiative Disrupts an Otherwise Natural Path to Human Understanding and Values The purpose of this session is to interrogate the misapplication of industrial efficiency models to education in relation to the real purpose and nature of education; specifically in the imposition of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, and other mandated standards, on Art Education.

Breakout B
Gregg Jorgensen: Who Is At the Head of the Class: Students? Teachers? Or, Corporate America? What are the real stakes of high stakes testing? This presentation will discuss who or what may in reality be the actual driving force behind the current accountability movement. Can the evolving 21st century education reform movement produce positive results for the public education of all students? The perspective will consider the current perceptions of the role that students, teachers, administrators, and corporations play in this process.

Patricia Briscoe: The Power of Conformity: Stories from the Field of Teaching This session relates to stories in the field from my previous experience as a K-12 educator and current literature to exemplify the power of silencing and systemic and conceptual conformity that is present in schools. To conclude, I suggest some examples and strategies for points of entry to permeate this hierarchy of power and support educators to more safely challenge systems of power and become more positive activists of equitable education.

Session 3
Breakout A
Lauren M. Gardner, Brad Porfilio, Debangshu Roychoudhury The Revolutionary Potential of Hip Hop Based Education in the Age of Neoliberalism: A Panel Presentation The purpose of this presentation is to highlight how HHBE (Hip Hop Based Education) has the potential to confront a myriad of social oppressions set in motion by global capitalism. Based upon our own empirical work with hip-hop artists and youth activists, on our theoretical insights as progressive scholars, and pedagogical work with K-16 educators, we will highlight how critical hip hop education has the potential to bring awareness to what constitutive forces are behind the escalation of social inequalities, heightened xenophobia, and patriarchal exploitation. In addition, the panelists illuminate how the cultural manifestations and activist endeavors of hip-hop intellectuals across the globe lend critical scholars, radical educators, and concerned citizens innovative formations of hope and possibility.

Lance E. Mason: The Public Pedagogy and Habits of Punk Rock Music In this paper, punk rock music is positioned as a form of public pedagogy. John Dewey’s conception of habit is utilized to explore how punk rock may function as a public pedagogy that helps to cultivate critical habits and facilitate a more critical orientation toward media engagement.

Breakout B
Paula Meyer: Linguistic Imperialism in the United States Language suppression is intimately tied to capitalism, imperialism, war economy, and the inequality and racism that they engender and require. To illustrate this, I will narrate parts of my story as a teacher of dominated-language students, commenting on the political connections. First, I will present briefly some of my work with indigenous Californians, and secondly, I will recount stories from my life as a bilingual teacher of poor, mostly Mexican students. Both have been in the California/Mexico border area.

Hiba Kahil ElHajj: The Home, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students, and the Unequal public Schools The presentation discusses the relationship between school and home environment with respect to culturally and linguistically diverse students. The presenter’s main argument is that most often schools recognize the empty part of the cup (how CLD students are inept) rather than the full part (assets that these students bring to school with them.
Jeff Bale: Linguistic Justice at School This paper argues that resisting the imposition of English-only models of schooling is neither a pedagogical nor a curricular question, but rather a political one. It synthesizes and extends classical Marxist understandings of nationalism and imperialism to establish an inverse relationship between imperialism and multilingual practice.

Session 4
Breakout A
Doug Morris: Pedagogy in Catastrophic Times Given that zombie capitalism is an out of control, human consuming, ecology destroying, war making machine of maniacal and manic accumulation and exploitation and structurally compelled to move forward toward what more and more researchers predict will be a nightmarish collapse, we urgently need pedagogies directed toward (1) winning the battle against capital and (2) the revolutionary reconstitution of education and society.

Rich Gibson: Why Are Things as They Are? What Explains the US’ National Hysterical Conversion Crisis? Why is Resistance so Mindless it Represents Ghost Dance After Ghost Dance? Capitalism Must Be Overcome–Finding a Pathway Through Barbarism Connecting Reason to Power in Education

Breakout B
Amanda Kallenbach: Perception, Power, and Presence This presentation analyzes the role of perception and power on the decline of the urban education system and seeks to find a solution by breaking down stereotypes and involving community to revitalize urban education. Politics, Government Intervention in School Systems, and Cultural Relations among People of Urban Areas.
Mahtab Nazemi: Student Activists Know Best: The trials and tribulations of anti-racists organizing at a predominantly white and wealthy Canadian University This paper is based on an institutional ethnography study which employed a critical race theoretical framework in order to explicate the social relations that coordinate the experiences of racialized student activists at a predominantly white and wealthy Canadian University. In the first part of this paper, knowledge produced through the experiences of racialized student activists exposes a disjuncture between the University’s self-portrayal as equitable and diverse and how it is experienced by some racialized student activists. The next part of this paper explores some challenges to doing anti-racist activist work at this University and the lack of – yet need for – an institutional memory that encourages present and future organizing to document, refer to, and build on past initiatives (successful and otherwise) around race, racism and equity.

Pamela Rogers: To ‘Raise the Bar’ or ‘Close the Gap’: International Baccalaureate Program Expansion and Neoliberal Curriculum Reform in Atlantic Canada In the last fifteen years, changes in educational policy and curriculum development across North America have shown increasing trends toward teacher accountability, performance measures, and fiscal responsibility (Apple, 2009). This paper explores discursive changes in official documents from the Province of Nova Scotia, Canada, to investigate the shift from racial equity policies and equitable curriculum development in the late 1990’s, to an increasingly neoliberalist, corporatized educational discourse starting in 2002.

Doug Morris: Protest Music

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