Dr. Jennifer Sasser, human sciences chair and gerontology program director, is one of several experts who will lead Oregon Humanities' Talking About Dying Series starting in September 2015.
Several faculty members from the Department of Education presented a session on culturally responsive teaching at the Oregon Leadership Network's Spring Leadership Institute in April 2014.
This year's Spring Leadership Institute, 50 Years Later: Civil Rights, Social Justice and Equity in Oregon's Classrooms, explored the civil rights movement's past and present, featuring sessions focused on bringing equity to Oregon's classrooms.
Representing the Marylhurst Department of Education, Jan Carpenter, Velma Johnson, Centáe Richards, and Kathleen Vincent presented Neighborhood Treasure Hunt for Equitable Practice: Connecting Teachers to the Community Beyond Their School. The clinical practice model presented was designed to help professional educators develop culturally responsive practice and family-community connections.
"We noticed that our students often struggle developmentally with understanding the vital role a teacher has in the building and maintaining of connections to the student, family and community in a culturally responsive manner," Dr. Richards said. "This struggle is often because the teacher does not know or understand enough about the community they serve. Lack of understanding could result in cultural disconnect between teachers and students, or mis-characterization of community values, or a misunderstanding of parental intentions.
"The purpose of our presentation at the Oregon Leadership Network was to provide state leaders with novel, innovative organizational structure and processes so that practitioners of education may have the opportunity to engage in self-reflection and growth for equity around community. Doing so can provide pathways to construct and enact an equity vision for their classrooms germane to the needs and values of the communities where they teach."