Building an Anti-Bias Classroom – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Building an Anti-Bias Classroom

Exploring the theme “No Place Like Home,” the 2016 Fisher Center lecture series kicks off on Tuesday, Sept. 6 with a participatory workshop, “Our Schools: Building an Anti-Bias Classroom,” led by Stephanie Kenific ’17. 

This summer, with the support of a Fisher Center Woodworth Fellowship, Kenific researched ways to reshape the Common Core Learning Curriculum to serve feminist and anti-racist principles in the context of a ninth-grade English classroom.

This research and the resulting workshop represent a portion of Kenific’s ongoing Honors project, the primary aim of which is to develop a full curriculum — approximately 180 lesson plans — integrating these anti-racist and intersectional themes.

“Once the curriculum is finished, it will be a public resource for educators looking to make a more inclusive classroom,” says Kenific, an English and public policy double-major who is also enrolled in the HWS Teacher Education Program and will be student-teaching in the spring.

The Sept. 6 workshop serves as a trial run for the curriculum and a model for action-based intergroup dialogue in the classroom. Kenific explains that attendees “can expect to engage in critical discussion regarding language, race and radical education.”

The workshop, which is open to all members of the Geneva community, will be held at 5 p.m. in the Community Room of the Geneva Public Library. High school students and parents of children in Geneva schools are encouraged to attend.

Under the guidance of her Honors adviser — Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric and department chair, Hannah Dickinson — Kenific is on track to complete her Honors project this fall, which she says “would not have been possible without community input from educators in the Geneva school system; the Rural and Migrant Ministry in Lyons; Geneva Tools for Social Change; and the unique experiences I have had at HWS: participating in a joint class with Geneva high school students to dialogue about race, serving as a Writing Colleague for the HEOP Summer Institute, and the number of critical classes I have taken with such professors as Hannah Dickinson, Craig Rimmerman, Anna Creadick, Ben Ristow, Khuram Hussain, Justin Rose and Kendralin Freeman.”

The Stephen W. Woodworth ’54 Fisher Center Student Summer Fellowship offers students in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Fine and Performing Arts an opportunity to pursue their own academic projects over the summer. While the specific research or project is open to a variety of academic fields, the work reflects the Fisher Center’s mission of social justice around issues of gender, race, and class.

The Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men brings together faculty, students, and experts in gender-related fields in the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences to foster mutual understanding and social justice in contemporary society. Created with an endowed $1 million gift from Emily and the late Richard Fisher, whose son Alexander graduated from Hobart College in 1993, the Fisher Center reflects a perfect intersection of the Colleges’ coordinate history and trends in the study of gender throughout academe.

The fall 2016 series continues on Sept. 28 with “You Can’t Fix a Broken Foundation:” Black Women’s Housing in the 1970s,” a talk by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, assistant professor of African American studies at Princeton University, at 7 p.m. in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library.

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