July 31, 2014 | Academics, Student Feature
On May 27, 2014, eight members of the Guttman community traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to participate in the Critical Race Studies in Education Association national conference at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Karla Fuller and Professor Katie Wilson, in collaboration with their students from House 1 City Seminar 2, presented a poster titled: “Coming to America: Teaching and learning about immigration through first-person student research.”
The proposal described the process by which the two professors created an intensive semester-long research study of immigration in New York City from a historical and political perspective. As the student learning experience lies at the core of the work, a group of students from House 1 City Seminar 2, Spring 2013, were invited to share their perspectives on learning about immigration through the lens of an immigrant at the conference. These students included: Jessamine del Rosario, Gibsy Lino, Tannya Luna, Khalifa Ndiaye, Kristine Anne Perez, and Adesh Ramcharitar.
The City Seminar 2 course focused on a critical, historical view of immigration in New York , and many of the students from the class were ‘new to New York.’ Professors Fuller and Wilson worked together to create an open and safe classroom space to explore the complex dynamics of history, culture, race and ethnicity.
The poster “Coming to America: Teaching and learning about immigration through first-person student research” aimed to convey the intentional teaching practices that placed the students’ personal experiences as immigrants front-and-center. Additionally, it displayed the assignments and experiential pedagogies used, such as interviews of immigrant family members, cross-cultural explorations of historically ethnic neighborhoods, and students’ personal narratives of the immigrant experience.
During the 90-minute poster session, the students explained the course assignments and their experience of engaging with the material and research process and articulated what they learned about themselves and how they will apply their learning in future courses or the workplace. “Prof. Wilson and I were extremely proud of their detailed explanations of the Guttman education model and the role City Seminar II played in their own academic development in moving towards their programs of studies,” stated Dr. Karla Fuller.
The Critical Race Studies in Education Association is a collective of scholar activists committed to the larger project of racial justice in schools. CRSEA is an interdisciplinary consortium of experts who recognize global implications of race and education for minoritized people. CRSEA works to counter and combat systemic and structural racism with scholarship and praxis and co-construct liberating knowledge that facilitates collective agency to transform schools and communities.