4 thoughts on “Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy: A look at two first week activities
Mary Gross

  1. Mary, thank you for sharing these great ideas with us. I really like your community of learners page in particular. I’ve been really worried about how to build the wonderful community of learners I’m used to in my on the ground classes as we transition to online teaching. Your idea of having students share aspects of their culture, families, and values–plus an image–would probably help the other students and me learn a lot more about one another than we might in week 2-3 of an on-the-ground class. I love it! We’ll be reading Tara Yosso’s “Whose Culture Has Capital” article about community cultural wealth in our pedagogy reading group next week and one of the questions I’ve found myself asking is “how do we identify/understand our students’ community cultural wealth?” I think your activity would certainly go a long way to helping us as instructors learn some of these important things about our students and their families/communities. Thank you for sharing!

    • Also, do you ever have any students that are really resistant to being open or vulnerable in an assignment like this early in the semester? How do you handle that? You putting yourself on the community of learners page right at the top probably goes a long way to making them feel comfortable contributing!

      • Hi, Aaron. Thanks for your kind comments! So far I have not had any issues with students hesitating to share responses or posting pictures to this Community of Learner page. I think it is very important that I participate in the activities as well so students see some sort of model and more importantly start getting a bit more of a glimpse into who I am. I also know that students do go back to this page throughout the semester when they are working with various classmates on group tasks or peer feedback as I see some comments about what they know about each other through the communication they have. What I really like is that this is relatively low stakes, very positive for students, and gets them engaged with our course theme right away.

  2. Mary,

    Almost two months later and I’m still ruminating on this activity! I decided to go with a slightly modified version for a first unit that explores that various communities that students belong to for my 100 classes. Thanks for providing such great resources for us this summer, I really appreciate all of your hard work and inspiration!

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