Humanizing Teaching

Learning Community members Sarita Shukla and Becca Price, along with their colleagues Elli Theobald and Joel Abraham, talked about a recent paper of theirs at the UW Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Symposium this week. The talk, entitled Asset-based teaching: Humanizing teaching by moving away from an achievement gap discourse, emphasizes the need to use asset-based philosophies in our teaching. The idea is to recognize students strengths and build from those, drawing more strength from students communities and cultures to support learning (Yosso 2005). On the other hand, the notion of achievement gaps focuses on what students don’t know, and uses the strengths of White male students to define success. In the paper, they show that areas of educational research are already bridging to more asset-based philosophies, despite continuing to use the term achievement gap. This mismatch in vocabulary is worth pointing out because simply using the phrase achievement gap can activate stereotypes (Quinn 2020).

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