Creating a Syllabus that Centers Black History – by Andrea Adomako, IRT ’14
In James Baldwin’s “A Talk to Teachers” (1963) Baldwin wrote the following: The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated. The purpose of education…is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions, to say to himself this is black or this is white…to ask questions of the universe, and then learn to live with those questions, is the way he achieves his own identity. But no society is really anxious to have that kind of person around. What societies really, ideally, want is a citizenry which will simply obey the rules of society.
Today, considering the current socio-political environment we live in, Baldwin’s words still ring true. As students are taught to “ask questions of the universe and then learn to live with those questions” Black History has a historical role in inspiring the productive inquiry Baldwin speaks of. In recent years there has been a greater push to consider Black History beyond the month of February. Incorporating Black history year round is an important pedagogical shift that asks educators to elevate the history, events, and individuals that shape Black history both in the United States and globally. This shift begins first and foremost with the syllabus. Whether you are teaching a traditional History, English, or Engineering Course; or if you are teaching within an interdisciplinary field, the syllabus is the place to express and reflect your political and ethical commitments to Black History. Continue reading “Creating a Syllabus that Centers Black History”
My participation in IRT’s summer workshop, and the mentorship I received afterwards, was one of my first experiences in being asked to consider what kind of scholarly research I intended to do, and was where I first learned to be mindful in deciding where my ‘intervention’ might be. Being asked to imagine myself as a future leader in research was an empowering experience, and I credit IRT with many of the lessons I work to impart upon the students I work with today. Indeed, one of my most powerful memories of IRT’s summer workshop is watching our entire cohort, one by one, learn to proudly identify ourselves as scholars—I now do that same exercise with the students I mentor.
Join us in New York on Thursday, April 25th for two IRT alumni events!
A Conversation with MDRC
From 2:30 – 4:00 pm, MDRC, a national policy organization and an IRT institutional partner, is hosting a conversation at their headquarters about American educational policy and policy-related careers. All IRT alumni are invited to attend this interactive panel and Q&A session. Please click here to RSVP to attend the event.
If you are unable to attend, a live streaming of the interactive session will be available. RSVP required.
IRT Alumni Mixer
Kevin Maillard, IRT ’94 and Advisory Board Member, will host an Alumni Mixer, from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM, near Union Square. Join us for food, drink, and good company.
Space for the Alumni Mixer is limited to the first fifty alumni, so RSVP early!
After a fall and winter filled with recruitment visits to 40 campuses, the IRT staff is hard at work beginning the application review process. We are thrilled to meet our cohort candidates and excited to prepare for this year’s Summer Workshop.
It was a joy to sit down with Jessica Acosta-Chavez PA ’06, IRT ’12, on the Every Quarter podcast. As Phillips Academy’s associate director of admission and outreach and an alumna of the program, I was excited to learn more about her experience and to discuss the future of education. Visit the link here to listen and feel free to email or reply with any comments.
Throughout our conversation, I stress my interest in wanting to learn more from our alumni. I am curious about your experiences and ways that the IRT can continue to support the needs of diverse educators.
I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and community of Maryori Condi, IRT ’17. It is clear she embodied the sense of a progressive educator, one who aspired to cast and showcase the brilliance within her communities. In the coming weeks and months, I hope to have the opportunity to interact with more of you.
PA Giving Day is an opportunity for all in the Andover community to support the program that means the most to them. Last year on Giving Day, 67 individuals donated to the IRT, making it one of the most popular designations across the Academy! IRT donors’ generosity, combined with the power of matching funds, supported 8IRTscholars in full.
Please join us again this year in support of the IRT. Challenge match funds will be offered, multiplying each individual’s impact. The IRT relies on annual gifts to meet its operating costs each year.