Framing our training 

Welcome Class 13 we’re excited to reflect and learn with you! This information sheet is intended to prepare you for the training, and to answer some frequently asked questions about how Class 13 works:

 

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM THE LEARNING?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our delivery style is intended to enable participants to develop understanding and enact changes to their teaching practice through a circular reflection, theory, and action process. This process is known as praxis. There are no fixed instructions or ‘right answers’ when engaging in praxis. We expect the learning experience will differ for participants depending on their personal and professional backgrounds and that participants may draw different interpretations from the learning as a result. An example of how learning might look different for various individuals might be the following proverb: 

 

‘Kill the snake, but break not the stick’ 

 

This proverb has different interpretations, depending on the context in which it is said. We invite you to reflect now, in the context of your week so far, what advice does this quote offer you? The likelihood is that a different interpretation will come into being for every reader of the proverb. With this understanding in mind, Class 13’s approach offers participants concepts and ideas then supports them in applying their learning to their classroom. We are unlikely to provide fixed actions for participants to carry out in their classrooms because there is no one-size-fits-all way to dismantle oppression. Instead, we are more likely to suggest ideas participants could draw their attention to and support them to formulate their understanding/actions. 

 

WHY DEFICIT THINKING? 

 

Deficit thinking theory offers us an intersectional lens to understand all forms of educational inequality. Whereas anti-racism training interrogates racism and feminist training interrogates patriarchy, deficit thinking theory acknowledges the interplay of all forms of oppression in the classroom. 

 

Due to the protean nature of deficit thinking, a firm grounding in its theory can be seen to future-proof learners’ understanding of educational inequality. Learners are equipped to reflexively decipher future policy changes and teaching trends and adapt to new contexts with student well-being at the heart of their practice. 

 

SAFE SPACE? 

 

Class 13 understands racism as a system that pervades all aspects of society. As such, we adopt a similar position to social theorist Zeus Leonardo when we consider the possibility of racial pedagogy taking place in a ‘safe space’:

 

‘If we are truly interested in racial pedagogy, then we must become comfortable with the idea that there is no safe space for marginalised and oppressed. As implied above, mainstream race dialogue in education is arguably hostile and unsafe for many students of colour whose perspectives and experiences are consistently minimised. Violence is already there.’

 

In our experience, attempts to create a ‘safe space’ for racial pedagogy often unintendedly promote safety only for white participants. We acknowledge the difficult feelings inherent to the learning and the need to create a space where participants can be vulnerable. With this in mind, we take care to step slowly into discomfort during sessions, acclimatising to new ways of understanding as we go.

RIPPLE FEEDBACK 

 

Ripple feedback is a long-term data collection project we are carrying out to capture the positive ripple effect of interactions you have outside of Class 13 with colleagues, friends, and family. Exchanges don’t have to be lengthy to be included; we are mainly interested in how many people you share your new learning with and in what capacity. Current and past members of our learning community can record interactions they’ve had about their learning by navigating to https://www.class13.org/ripple. We welcome you to continue contributing Ripple feedback even after completing the training. 

 

HOW DO I CONTACT THE TEAM? 

 

  1. For anything related to the training, please get in touch with us via email at Hello@class13.org, and we will reply as soon as possible.

  2. You can also use the Hello@Class13.org email to vent to us about anything related to the learning process, such as frustrating interactions you might have relating to the topics discussed. Please indicate this by putting “vent” in the subject line. Anything you send to us with “vent” in the subject line will be acknowledged but not replied to in-depth unless requested. The purpose of a venting inbox is to allow learners to get feelings or ideas off their chest that they don’t want to share in sessions or run out of time to share. We read emails labelled “vent” and may use them to address common feelings or uncertainties in the group, but we will not directly address the thoughts shared in the email. 

  3. You can follow us on Instagram or Twitter, where we share other learning resources and opportunities. 

FURTHER READING 

Pedagogy of fear: toward a Fanonian theory of ‘safety’ in race dialogue, Zeus Leonardo & Ronald K. Porter 

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