Category Archives: Posts

Lydia’s Radical Care Annotated Bibliography

The antitheses of radical care

Achille Mbembe; Necropolitics. Public Culture 1 January 2003; 15 (1): 11–40.

In this essay, Mbembe argues that the ultimate manifestation of authority is expressed as having the power to decide if someone (or something) will live or die and having the capacity to do something to that effect. Mbembe’s theory draws heavily on Foucaut’s concept of biopower, which he defines as “that domain of life over which power has taken control” (p.12). In this analysis, Mbembe directs his attention to expressions of sovereignty which are preoccupied with the regulation of human materiality and the elimination of bodies, individually as people and collectively as peoples. Through the lens of biopower, the function of racism is to enable a state to administer the distribution of violence and death throughout its population (and that of the world at large). Mbembe applies his analysis to the Holocaust, colonialism, slavery in the United States, and “wars of the globalization era.” He concludes that the concept of biopower is insufficient to describe and explain these phenomena, offering the term necropolitics instead. One could say that Mbembe’s focal point is the antipode of radical care. 

Bobby Banerjee, S. (2008). Necrocapitalism. Organization Studies, 29(12), 1541-1563.

Building from the work of Mbembe (2003, included in this bibliography), Banerjee advances the concept of necrocapitalism, “contemporary forms of organizational accumulation that involve dispossession and the subjugation of life to the power of death” (abstract). Banerjee focuses on contemporary imperialism, a phenomenon he places as an outgrowth of capitalism (ideologically) and colonialism (structurally). In his analysis, he examines how three different kinds of power operate to sustain and reproduce imperialism. Institutional power is represented by organizations like the IMF, WTO, and the World Bank. Economic power takes the shape of nation states and corporations. Discursive power operates in narratives of progress, backwardsness, and economic development which choke out whatever local stories people might have to tell about international development agendas and their own goals. These narratives support the violent, warful usurping of resources in allegedly underdeveloped nations. In this framework, “the fundamental feature of necrocapitalism is accumulation by dispossession and the creation of death worlds in colonial contexts.” More simply put, necrocapitalist systems generate wealth by creating and exploiting disposable people. Banerjee suggests that studying the emergence of new resistance movements may provide insight for how political power might be exerted differently in the future, ideally in a way that tends to life instead of generating so much death. In this paper, Banerjee provides a label for the phenomenon that charges us most urgently with a mission grounded in an ethos of radical care.

Anarchist conceptions of care

Connolly, C. A. (2010). “I am a trained nurse”: The Nursing Identity of Anarchist and Radical Emma Goldman. Nursing History Review, 18(1), 84-99.

In this excavation of writings about Emma Goldman (iconic figure of revolutionary, anarcho-feminist politics), Cynthia Anne Connolly, PhD, RN, calls attention to Goldman’s background as a nurse. Connolly’s analysis draws upon works written about Goldman but also includes Goldman’s autobiography where she discusses the significance of her nursing care-work in her utopian political visions. Goldman’s entry into the nursing profession was an unexpected consequence of her incarceration. As a result of this development, she had both lived experience of and eyewitness exposure to social injustice as manifested through healthcare inequality. The centrality of nursing and equity through public health in Emma Goldman’s political thought process represents a contribution to radical care discourse by providing another metaphor for care from which to draw inspiration. Nursing care-work and public health as a model for radical care might help expand conceptions of care beyond the interpersonal sphere so that it might be understood more fully as an act of tending to community health and flourishing.

Heckert, J. (2010). Listening, caring, becoming: anarchism as an ethics of direct relationships. In Anarchism and moral philosophy (pp. 186-207). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

In this book chapter, Jamie Heckert advances an understanding of anarchism as “an ethics of relationships”, and joins a polyvocal effort to articulate what the word “anarchism” actually means. For so many, anarchism is understood as a theory of negativity. Anti-oppression and all of its synonyms and derivatives are abundant in anarchist discourses. Heckert responds to the relative void of pro- in anarchist theories with the suggestion that the inverse of anarchist critiques represent a series of positive commitments. Flipping the critique of speaking for others yields a commitment to listening deeply to others as they speak for themselves; challenging neoliberal narratives of history and identity make space for a commitment to self- and community-determination; practices of resistance and mutual aid represent deep commitments to care. Heckert’s analysis expertly links the relationship between care of the self and community-care related practices and highlights the way they are mutually reinforcing. In this framing, care of the self is situated in a larger project of collective care, development, and emergence.

Verter, M. C. (2013). Undoing patriarchy, subverting politics: Anarchism as a practice of care. The anarchist turn.

Verter seeks to expand understandings of anarchism beyond one-dimensional positions that stand in opposition to states, the authority they claim, and the violent power they exert against people and the planet. In this chapter, Verter positions anarchist lines of thought as alternatives to the patriarchal, military model of violent competition that has animated western society for millenia. Verter turns to family life as an alternative social model and focuses on maternal nurturance as a model for care. Turning his sights on anarchism, Verter asserts that nurturance is at the core of anarchist philosophies. This is particularly evident in the salience of mutual aid in anarchist discourse. The practice of mutual aid emerges from understandings of human interdependence advanced by prominent figures like Peter Kropotkin. Kropotkin was deeply critical of capitalism, seeing it as the mechanism by which states took shape around the whims of the wealthy at the expense of the poor. Kropotkin criticized states for the way they attempted to justify their existence (and presumably authority) through interference with emergent expressions of mutual aid and the establishment of state sanctioned charities and institutions of public welfare. Verter’s contribution to the radical care discourse points to the need to look beyond state institutions for robust demonstrations of radical care.

Radical care and pedagogy

Latif, A., & Jeppesen, S. (2007). Toward an anti-authoritarian anti-racist pedagogy. 2007) Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations/Collective Theorization, 288-300

In this co-authored exploration, Sandra Jeppesen and Ashar Latif argue for an anti-authoritarin and anti-racist pedagogy. Identifying herself as a white person, Jeppesen argues that exposure to anti-racist texts, particularly in the form of anarchist zines, is a fruitful pathway for white people to develop a capacity to see racism and experience feelings of-transracial-empathy, both of which are necessary in order to develop an anti-racist praxis. Latif grounds calls for anti-racist education in the claim that anti-racist pedagogy must also be anti-authoritarian. He questions whether anti-racism can be taught at all and insists that anti-authoritarian pedagogy positions everyone as a learner. Zines, as an unregulated, highly personalized form represent a departure for what is typically considered acceptable learning material in academic spaces and expand limiting conceptions of authorship, thus enabling new voices to exert influence in discursive space. Following from Mbembe’s analysis of the function of racism in necropolitical structures and Banerjee’s presentation of the embeddedness of racialized necrocapitalist structures in our global society, eradicating racism is a central component of any collective-care project and education an integral facet.

Thompson, B. (2017). Teaching with tenderness: Toward an embodied practice. University of Illinois Press.

In a precious and personal book, Becky Thompson advances an embodied pedagogy of tenderness drawing from her experiences as a university educator. For Thompson, tenderness describes “an embodied way of being that allows us to listen deeply to each other, to consider perspectives that we might have thought way outside our own world views, to practice a patience and attention that allows people to do their best work, to go beyond the given, the expected, the status quo. Tenderness makes room for emotion; offers a witness for experiences people have buried or left unspoken; welcomes silence, breath, and movement; and sees justice as key to our survival” (p. 1). In each chapter, she offers anecdotes from her work as a university professor that illustrate the range and depth of experiences that are made possible through a pedagogy of tenderness. 

Thompson offers this text as a guide, providing examples of rituals and activities she has brought into her own teaching practice as she deepens her tenderness work. Thompson grounds her vision in the recognition that there is so much pain living in our bodies related to the traumatic histories(and current realities) we are often expected to discuss with academic airs of neutrality in university classrooms. There is so much violence in history books. The pedagogy of tenderness she advocates for in this book is an attempt to acknowledge and respond to the fact that trauma and learning are equally embodied experiences. Developing a critical awareness of the violence woven through our social fabric is not without hazard or pain but is a necessary step towards joining collective projects of liberatory transformation. Thompson’s book provides actionable tools and points of reflection for educators who are interested in integrating a more tender, radically caring approach to their critical pedagogical goals.

Sohini’s Unessay!

The guiding questions that lead to the creation of A Journey through Care: Healing Justice and Arts were 1. How do Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and API girls and TGNC youth experience care? And un-care? 2. How do they imagine care for themselves? 3. How can understanding and imagining care serve healing justice? There are undeniable harms done by schools and beyond in perpetuating toxic forms of care (and un-care) towards youth, families, and communities. Through a framework of healing justice, the lesson plans focus on how we respond to and interrupt harms of un-care on our mind, bodies, and hearts through meditating on our experiences and imaginations of care. The created lesson plans employ art as an embodied, healing practice for Black, Indigenous, Latinx and API girls and TGNC youth through a journey of realizing, living and imagining care.

Lesson Plan:

My own art in engagement with lesson plans:

Lydia’s Unessay

Hey everyone, my unessay is on instagram. You shouldn’t need an account to access it since my profile is public.


The statement I read from last week is below.

can empathy be taught?

what does care look like in a school system driven by capitalism? can they even co-exist?

how can care shift from an individual act/practice to a collective project?

I would argue that empathy can be learned, but not necessarily taught. I would also argue that the ideological pillars of (necro)capitalism interfere with this learning process and disincentivize altruistic, caring behaviors that have the potential to contribute to our empathy-learning-by-doing. Individualism negates the truth of our interdependence and casts care as an interpersonal exercise, a thing one does for another, rather than an act of collective-preservation.

The animating spirit of capitalist formations is often fundamentally opposed to life (human, animal, plant, or otherwise). Care, behavior I define as life preserving, affirming, and honoring, cannot exist in such a system except as an act of resistance, as a challenge to the savage individualism that animates American society. Looking outside of capitalism for relational frameworks that center care has always led me to anarchist (and anarcho-adjacent) theorists.

As a teacher, the larger questions that guide my intellectual journeying always bring me back to questions of classroom practice and praxis. In searching for lines of anarchist thought that render the contours of anti-oppressive pedagogy more clear, I have found recurrent references to gardening as a metaphor for education. Considering the difference that exists between “aesthetic care” and “authentic care” has led me to wonder if instead of looking to gardens we might instead consider what forests might have to tell us about teaching and what it would mean to be a steward instead of a gardener.

We need to break free of the trellis, to climb wildly up a tree, to be in authentic community, to be embedded in networks of authentic care and mutual dependence. We need to be in the forest. Forests are wild, abundant places. They are robust and adaptable in proportion to the extent to which they are diverse and intergenerational.

At best, the education system we have can support learning spaces that feel much more like gardens than they can ever feel like forests. While I work towards disassembling the garden walls, I am listening to what my plants have to tell me about empathy, care, and growth. The images that follow represent the wisdom they have shared with me.

Lessons in Radical Care: (as told by houseplants) is presented as an instagram story. The graphics are largely text-based with botanical motifs throughout. The textual content draws parallels between caring for plants and enacting care in the classroom.

References for annotated bibliography

Bobby Banerjee, S. (2008). Necrocapitalism. Organization Studies, 29(12), 1541-1563.

Hayworth, R. (ed.) (2012). Anarchist pedagogies: Collective actions, theories, and critical reflections on education. PM Press.

Heckert, J. (2010). Listening, caring, becoming: anarchism as an ethics of direct relationships. In Anarchism and moral philosophy (pp. 186-207). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Latif, A., & Jeppesen, S. (2007). Toward an anti-authoritarian anti-racist pedagogy. 2007) Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations/Collective Theorization, 288-300

Mbembe, A. (2008). Necropolitics. In Foucault in an Age of Terror (pp. 152-182). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Thompson, B. (2017). Teaching with tenderness: Toward an embodied practice. University of Illinois Press.

Verter, M. C. (2013). Undoing patriarchy, subverting politics: Anarchism as a practice of care. The anarchist turn.

Lindsay’s UnEssay

UnEssay: A Pre-Service Course Designed to Develop Embodied Anti-Racism in White Educators

You can read the full proposal, along with some suggested activities, a list of programs and teachers doing the work of collective healing, and my resources here.

Guiding Questions

  • How can we develop ways to better care for one another in schools?
  • How can we better equip white educators to cultivate radically caring and compassionate classrooms? 

Course Aim: The goal of the course will be to push students to consistently become aware of and question/interrupt the dominant narrative in their lives and classrooms. It will push them to consider their implicit biases more deeply and their role in enabling and propagating structural racism. It will provide them with tools to take into their lives and classrooms to continue the work of embodied anti-racism.

Course Design: The course is designed to facilitate the development of embodied antiracism in participants. Building on the model of somatic learning, each class will include an experiential component, one that seeks to explore the body, experience, and emotion more deeply. The second component will be conceptual in nature, incorporating the mind into the experience and vice versa. These activities will be integrated, encouraging and reinforcing embodied learning.

Thank you for reading! Feedback welcome 🙂

Jordan’s UnEssay

The guiding question I’m using for my UnFinal project is, “How is the tradition of classroom care passed on?”  I will share a piece of my 2nd exam that addresses this question through a Black educational historical context. I will trace (historicize) back the individual and collective moments in pre-21st century Black education where educators were practicing “Radical Care,” which laid the conceptual foundations of contemporary Racial Literacy and CR-SE work. 

The provided selection contains sections of my 2nd exam that contain citations from the readings we were assigned in class.

Jordan Bell

Dr. Rivera-McCutchen

UnFinal exam

Spring 2021

Brief History of CSP and Its Interconnectedness to CRT, BlackCrit, and Racial Literacy

Now, a brief historicization of CSP will follow to illuminate how it serves as a theoretical framework that disrupts racism, specifically anti-Black deficit educational racism for the purposes of this work, and to reveal its interconnectedness to CRT, BlackCrit, and Racial Literacy.  

The concept of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (CRP) was birthed into the world by Gloria Ladson-Billings (1995) in her groundbreaking work, “Toward a Theory of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy.” Ladson-Billings (2017) recalled doing research for pedagogical success and Black children, and she was not finding any results. Anecdotal evidence of anti-Blackness manifested in her “first electronic searches using descriptors like “Black Education” and “African-American Education” [that] quickly defaulted to cross-references that read, “see culturally deprived,” or “see cultural deficits.” The language of academic excellence was absent when it came to considering African-American children” (142). To address the dearth of academic excellence scholarship for Black students, Ladon-Billings coalesced and built upon the theoretical framework provided by Critical Race Theorists such as Derrick Bell (1980; 1992/2018), Cheryl Harris (1993), Kimberle Crenshaw (1989, 1990, 1991), and Lani Guinier (1991) with the fledgling asset pedagogy work of pedagogues such as Au and Jordan (1981, p. 139) — who coined the term “culturally appropriate” — and  Cazden and Leggett (1981) and Erickson and Mohatt (1982) — who coined the term “culturally responsive” (p. 167). CRP was created as a response to the American “educational apartheid” that still existed almost 100 years after the Plessy v Ferguson (1896) decision legitimized and standardized the era of “separate but [un]equal” (Taylor, 2017, p. 5). These two fields were brought together because CRT came from similar frustrations as the Critical Legal Studies (CLS) field insofar that they both realized the law and educational structures were not objective nor-race neutral, as evidenced in Derrick Bell’s (1980) “Interest Convergence Dilemma” where he highlighted the rationale behind Brown V Board of Ed (1954) decision to integrate schools. Gloria Ladson-Billings and William Tate IV’s (2006 [original in 1995]),  “Toward a Critical Race Theory of Education,” illumined and made clear the parallels in the everyday racism inherent in the legal and educational fields. Ladson-Billings’ CRP addresses and challenges the race neutrality of educational policies and practices through a CRT Theoretical framework and continues to further the asset pedagogy work to center and support Black and other marginalized student communities. Racial Literacy Ruptures serve as the responses to anti-Black educational racism that served as foundations for contemporary CRP/CSP work. 

            Gloria Ladson-Billings (1995) original CRP framework centered on the “criteria of [student] academic success, cultural competence, and critical consciousness” that occurs by having teachers “maintain fluid student-teacher relationships, demonstrate a connectedness with all of the students, develop a community of learners, encourage students to learn collaboratively and be responsible for another” (480). Practices like building cultural competency, developing a community of leaders, and teaching students to be responsible for one another were employed by Black educators during the 19th, and 20th centuries to respond to anti-Black educational racism (Anderson, 1988; Hine, Hine, and Harold, 2013; Painter, 2006). Unfortunately, while Ladson-Billings clearly articulated her CRP goals, her work became distorted by theorists and pedagogues. One of the distortions had teachers “relegating students’ cultural and linguistic resources to being tools for advancing the learning of an “acceptable” curricular canon, a “standard” variety of language, or other “academic” skill [, which] had some unintended consequences” (Alim & Haupt, 2017, p. 157). A concrete example of a CRP distortion is referenced in April Baker-Bell’s (2020) Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy, where she discusses how color-evasive approaches to education where students only are allowed to use of their “Home languages” (Delpit and Dowdy, 2008) outside of academic contexts is anti-Black linguistic racism. Baker-Bell’s work builds upon Jordan’s (1988) anti-Black language work. Color-evasiveness disrupts Cultural Responsiveness. Racial Literacy frameworks help people to see and understand that race is fluid and socially constructed (Omi and Winant, 1986) and see the cultural value of whiteness (Twine, 2010) so that colorblind racism can be disrupted. 

Failing to be Racially Literate incites distorting CRP. Distorters of CSP fail to recognize and learn the first essential component of the Culturally Responsive Teaching knowledge base. Geneva Gay (2002) suggested the CRP component involves determining “which ethnic groups give priority to communal living and cooperative problem solving and how these preferences affect educational motivation, aspiration, and task performance” (p. 107). For some Blacks, 18th and 19th-century clandestine communal schools served as sites of Racial Literacy Ruptures where cooperative problem solving created space for pockets of Black education to be accessible and anti-Black racism to be disrupted.  While many pre-21st century Blacks had to employ their CRP practices through a Racially Literate lens in order to protect themselves in anti-Black racism, 21st-century educators do not face the life or death costs of Racially Illiterate operationalizations of CRP theory and practice. Thus, many educators have negated the benefits of CRP.

CRP distortions have been damaging for Black students. Thus, Django Paris (2012) raised awareness to these types of distortions and re-articulated a more precise 21st-century version of CRP known a Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy (CSP) — which serves “as an alternative [to CRP]  … [that] embodies some of the best research and practice in resource pedagogy tradition and as a term that supports the value of our multiethnic and multilingual present and future” (93). In other words, the CRP distortions that took place often manifested in tokenism or superficial interactions with race and culture instead of a deep interrogation of the lived experiences and joys/ problems that matter for communities of color. In other words, the CRP distortions may have (un)intentionally, or very intentionally (Baker-Bell, 2020), been “reproducing discourses that marginalize members of our [Black] communities” (Paris & Alim, 2014,p. 94).

Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education (CRSE) is both an embodiment and an extension of CRP and CSP. Randy Bomer (2017) reveals how  “Literacy is culturally responsive and education is culturally responsive. That is, all teaching and learning are shaped by culture” (p.11). Culture refers to a group of people’s ways of being, ways of living, their patterns of communication, their axiologies, their ontologies, their epistemologies, that exist in both micro and macro individual and collective interactions. Thus, to be an effective CRSE educator necessitates a nuanced understanding of the beliefs and values of the communities that are being taught. Many pre 21st century Black educators expressed their nuanced understandings of their communities’ beliefs in values by creating clandestine and Sabbath schools to teach Black children and create their individual and collective Racial Literacy Ruptures (Anderson, 1988). These pre 21st-century Black educators “Radically Cared” (Rivera-McCutchen, 2019) for their students, in part, because they came from the same or similar communities as their students. This “Radical Care” is an authentic form of care as obsessed to aesthetic care insofar as it involves embracing and displaying the “collective ethos of Black communities that believed education was the key to enhancing the life chances of their children. Particularly in many small southern towns, the all-Black school was the institution that reinforced community values and served as the community’s ultimate cultural symbol“ (Tillman, 2004, p. 105). However, educators who don’t come from direct or parallel communities to the ones they serve too often provide “instruction .. planned in response to a projection of [t]he[i]r own culture onto the students. And literacy education is especially responsive to culture [as per the definition of literacy] … So both the literacy part of “literacy education” and the education part are wholly shaped by the social doings that educators have become accustomed to” (Bomer, 2017, p. 11). In other words, teachers who don’t understand the material and social worlds of the students who are taught are often projecting mismatched onto-epistemic expectations onto students. 

BlackCrit, CRT, and Racial Literacy theoretically work in concert to identify the systems, structures, and policies that create and perpetuate the anti-Black epistemology citizens are exposed to in everyday life through media images (Littlefield, 2008; Gammage, 2019); policing (Chaney and Robertson, 2013; Bloom, and Frampton, 2020), healthcare (Gupta, 1996; Elias and Peredies, 2021) practices; and governmental and legal post-racial liberalism policies (Bell, 1980; Guinier, 2004) that indoctrinate U.S. citizens into a culture/an epistemology of ant-Blackness. The culture/epistemology of anti-Blackness is part of the reason why educators from mismatched communities than the Black students they serve often project mismatched onto-epistemic expectations onto students. CRT, BlackCrit, and Racial Literacy work to abolish racism and anti-Blackness in all social and theoretical spaces, but CSP specifically operationalizes the CRT, BlackCrit, and Racial Literacy theoretical frameworks in the classroom to create educational theories and pedagogical practices to disrupt educational racism, specifically anti-Black educational racism in the context of this work. Thus, CRT, BlackCrit, Racial Literacy, and CSP are both appropriate and necessary for tracing back to the Racial Literacy Ruptures in Black education that created space for contemporary Racial Literacy and CSP work and disrupted anti-Black epistemological and educational deficit models.

The Achievement Gap Deficit Model

This phenomenon of blaming the Black victim has continued throughout American history, particularly in educational settings as will be revealed when the Black Racial Literacy Ruptures are traced (Bell et. al., forthcoming). An academic example of blaming the victim manifests in the form of the Achievement Gap. To many educators, poorer results on test results (both standardized and individualized) point to some type of deficiency in the student(s) with the poor results. This epistemology of deficiency was provided with (perceived) concrete evidence in the form of the 1966 Coleman Report (Coleman, 1966). The fact that the Coleman report was used to substantiate the achievement gap is ironic considering that the report was used by opposing school interest groups to, on one side, argue for desegregation in schools and, on the other side, community-controlled schools (Kantor and Lowe, 2017). Coleman “suggested it was likely that members of Congress wanted to document the gross differences in the quality of the schools that black and white students attended and thereby legitimate the fight for school desegregation and equal educational opportunity” (Kantor and Lowe, 2017). In other words, Congress wanted to use the report to create a cultural deficit model by idealizing that Black kids necessitate being in closer proximity to white students to achieve academic success. The cultural deficit model created by congress has done nothing to close the “achievement gap” in the 50+ years since the Coleman Report (Wilson, 2016;Ladson-Billings, 2006). This is why Black educators such as Kenneth b. Clark and Charles H. Thompson disputed the Coleman Report’s assertion that culture mattered more than schools (Gordon, 2017). 

 Many disputes over the Coleman report were centered around the idea that the Coleman Report did not accurately explain “the Gap” that exists between students of color and their white peers. In other words, the Coleman Report failed to provide context. The contextual ineptness is often overlooked and may be deemed unimportant. However, this failure to provide context speaks volumes about how academic success is measured by hegemonic influences — which don’t include CR-SE methodologies and practices. Why is it that white students consistently perform better on standardized tests than most students of color?  For morally erect educators, the asking of the previous question begs the asking of the following question: What can I do to (re)center the humanity of  students of color who are oft marginalized in academic settings?

Gloria Ladson-Billings (2006) reframes the Achievement Gap into a Structural Inequity Gap: “[She] called upon educational researchers to shift their lenses from the achievement gap to the educational debt” (Patel, 2016, p19). This shift is of the utmost of importance because “a debt is something that is owed; a gap can simply exist. A debt raises a question of who owes whom and who stands to benefit, and surfaces questions of equity” (Patel, 2016, p. 19). Yes, it is the last move towards equity that is the most salient in the reframing of this issue. In other words, students are no longer deficient or deviant. No, a Racially Literate analysis of the Achievement Gap reveals that society has collectively, consciously or not, worked against Black persons to create barriers to academic success. This reframing of the question puts the impetus back on society and takes the blame off the individual. More than just blaming the victim, another contention with deficit models is that some of them equate academic literacy with intelligence. I want to draw attention to the fact that academic literacy should not be falsely equated with intelligence “in which first Native Americans and then African Americans, etc., are

disenfranchised from a cultural model of literacy that is home of the White middle class (Lee, 2005) (as cited in Patel, 2016). Both the “Negro Problem” and the “Achievement gap” serve as concrete examples of deficit models and help to rationalize why diverse epistemologies and literacies need to be explored in educational spaces and beyond. Moreover, these examples make clear that the primary issue with deficit models is that they are often cultural models, and cultural appreciation can’t be had nor can cultural gaps be closed without developing cultural competency. Racial Literacy epistemology exposes the ruptures where cultural competency was first practiced by Blacks in American schools. Racial Literacy epistemology is needed to have better, more complete, and more accurate understandings of the ways in which racism, specifically anti-Blackness, have contributed to epistemic ignorance (Mills, 2007) and epistemic violence (Sharpe, 2016).

Tracing Back to the Racial Literacy Ruptures in Clandestine, Common, and Sabbath Schools

With-out a Negro past, without a Negro future, it was impossible for me to live my Negrohood. Not yet white, no longer wholly black, I was damned. Jean-Paul Sartre had forgotten that the Negro suffers in his body quite differently from the white man. Between the white man and me the connection was irrevocably one of transcendence. But the constancy of my love had been forgotten. I defined myself as an absolute intensity of beginning. So I took up my negritude, and with tears in my eyes I put its machinery together again. What had been broken to pieces was rebuilt, reconstructed by the intuitive lianas of my hands. My cry grew more violent: I am a Negro, I am a Negro, I am a Negro …. (Fanon,1986, p.138)

Franz Fanon informs readers that being Black in a white nation is an inherently violent experience, whether it be physical, intellectual, relational, financial, individual, structural, or any other type of violence imaginable. In other words, Fanon is asking, where

is the love for Black folx? In direct relation to this work, his musings beg the questions, who is teaching Black (Negro) people to love themselves and how are they teaching Black people to love themselves in schools? 

One of the first Black educators to show the love in the classroom and beyond for Black students in America was Maria Stewart. Maria Stewart’s “original synthesis of religious, abolitionist, and feminist concerns places her squarely in the forefront of a Black female activist and literary tradition only now beginning to be acknowledged as of integral significance to the understanding of the history of black thought and culture in America” (Stewart, 1987, p. xiv). Maria Miller was born free in Hartford, Connecticut in 1803 and married James Stewart in 1826, who died in 1829. After her husband’s death, Stewart began a three-year public speaking career in Boston, and she became the first American (Black) woman to speak publicly to mixed-gender audiences. In September 1832, she lectured for the Afric [sic] American Female Literary Society in Boston where she spoke out against colonizing Blacks to Africa. Then, in 1832 and 1833, she presented four public speeches where she addressed issues that the Black community (both freed and enslaved) were being exposed to (Haywood, 2003, p. 6). In one of her 1832 speeches, she drew attention to the vocational oppression experienced by free Blacks:

I have asked several individuals of my sex, who transact business

for themselves, if providing our girls were to give them the most satisfactory references, they would not be willing to grant them equal opportunity with others? Their reply has been-for their own part they had no objection; but as it was not the custom, were they to take them into their employ, they would be in danger of losing the public patronage (the Weekly Advocate, 1837, p.2)

Steward made clear that freed Blacks (freedmen) were systemically and individually oppressed, providing an early 19th century bifurcation (Weis and Fine, 2012) of anti-Black racism. She exposed the ways most free Blacks experienced ontological and epistemic legal restrictions that prevented them from narrowing and eliminating the social, economic, and political gaps (aka debts) that existed between whites and Blacks in the antebellum United States (McGary, 1992). For example, although a Black person may have been born as a free person, if they were kidnapped and enslaved, their “free status” could not be used to secure their release (Northup, 1853). This was because of the Fugitive Slave Law (1850) and the Scott V Samford (1847) Supreme Court decision (Hines et al., 2016). Not only in legal spaces, but also in educational spaces was Stewart denied equity: “deprived of the advantages of education, though [her] soul thirsted for knowledge” (Stewart, 1998, p.3). She spoke about the dearth of educational spaces and opportunities for Blacks in one of her public speeches where she addressed some of the following topics: “poverty and oppression; education; the uplift of the race; securing a future for black children; and the role of women in black liberation” (Haywood, 2003, p. 6). 

The focus on Black children and Black women in liberation is where Maria Stewart makes Ruptures that serve as early Black Racial Literacy Epistemology. Her radical pedagogy that guided Black students away from victim status/stance was honed when she started teaching the Bible in dynamic rather than static ways in an attempt to get Blacks to reconceptualize their place and positionality in White supremacist society (Bassard, 2010). Her teaching went beyond the Sunday (Sabbath) school classroom, for she taught in New York after leaving Boston in 1832 (Haywood, 2003). Stewart’s pedagogical philosophy focused on “breaking the chains of ignorance shackling the mind in ways analogous to the iron fetters used to restrain enslaved women and men. Education freed the mind, fostered the ability to recognize societal ills, and made it possible to envision the creation of a better world” (King, 2006, p.89). Her social and pedagogical approach is an early Racial Literacy rupture. Stewart read, recognized, and responded to racism in supporting Black students (Stevenson, 2016). One of the Racial Literacy legacies of her rupture rests in the fact that “By 1845 more than 60 Black scholars were taught by Maria W. Stewart” (Stewart, 1987, p. xvi). She did not allow Black persons to remain victims in a White supremacist society that preyed on Black bodies. Maria Stewart empowered Blacks by educating them in ways that protected them from the structures and people who meant Black folx harm.

Maria Stewart’s abolitionism and Racial literacy practice involved emotional labor. Miriam Muller (2018) defines emotional labor as committed work that involves salient elements of relationship and community building: “listening to the other’s worries, sensing that something is going on and providing space for the other to talk about it, keeping in touch, remembering important things in the other’s life etc. The currency of this type of emotional labour includes care, respect, attention, affection or empathy (Muller 2018, 8; see also Hochschild 1985)” (as cited in Toole, 2019, p. 602). Maria Stewart had to listen to the stories of her peers and students to reveal the ways in which racist, anti-Black incited oppression manifested in their lives. Her listening to those narratives, as well as her internal narratives, exposed counter-narratives (Solorzano and Yosso, 2002; Yosso, 2005; Milner, 2008) that did not align with the ways in which whites treated and positioned Blacks. Stewart displayed an ethic of critical care in performing emotional labor that went “beyond pertaining to building nurturing and trusting relationships (Noddings, 1992) to also consider power dynamics and redress inequities (Antrop-Gonza´lez, 2006; Cooper, 2009a; Shields, 2003)” (as cited in Wilson, 2016, p. 2). While she disrupted on the individual and structural level, this tracing (Hill, 2018) back to her work marks the ruptures that created space for current iterations of Black Racial Literacy Epistemology. 

Stewart’s work reveals that “education was more than mere literacy. It defied racist stereotypes while embracing an orientation toward achievement and social responsibility. It also expanded employment opportunities and commanded respectability. “Knowledge is power,” said Stewart repeatedly” (King, 2006, p. 91). Knowledge is power was such a GANGSTER assertion at a time when most Blacks were denied access to education. She knew that it was her responsibility to deliver that POWER to Blacks. Moreover, she felt that it was women’s collective responsibility for engendering children’s thirst for knowledge. In centering Black women’s role in education, Stewart knew that Black women educators would enact a pro-Black “political clarity: With their students, both in deed and in word” because they understood their society and knew they had to disrupt anti-Black racial oppression (Tillman, 2004, p. 80). She endeavored to successfully found Black educational communities because she knew how to “directly speak to educators [and parents] responsive to the needs of racially minoritized students” (Wilson, 2016, p. 6) Stewart knew most Blacks had few resources for schools or academies, yet she believed Black parents should provide their children with the “first rudiments of useful knowledge” (Stewart, 1987, p. 36). She suggested hiring private instructors to teach the “higher [academic] branches” (Stewart, 1987, p. 41). Stewart dreamt of creating a powerful educated populace through the coordinated efforts of women raising and pooling their monies to build schools. This “Freedom Dream” (Kelley, 2003) culminates with the development of generations of girls and boys who generationally possess more knowledge than their parents and previous generations. In other words, she provided a Black Racial Literacy Rupture. 

While tracing (Hill, 2018) Maria Stewart’s individual Racial Literacy contribution, it becomes evident that she desired a collective rupture, not an individual rupture.  Unbeknownst to Stewart at the time of her teachings and abolitionism, ruptures that supported Blacks in education spaces were already taking place. Making these ruptures was not an easy task by any means, particularly in the South where Blacks were not afforded the same limited opportunities presented (or taken) to Maria Stewart. There were very few educational opportunities for Blacks in the Antebellum South. This was in large part due to the fact that many anti-literacy laws were created to outlaw any and all forms of Black literacy: “In 1770, Georgia passed a law,providing for a fine of $20 for teaching slaves to read and write … in 1829 [another law] provided for a fine of $500 for any person caught teaching Blacks to read or write … in [Savannah] 1833 [for] any person caught teaching Blacks to read and write should be fined $1,000 and if a Black, be given thirty-nine lashes” (Perdue, 1976, p.2) Even though laws were created to prevent Black folx from learning, Blacks took the risks and created schools. Sometimes, those schools were run by free, educated Blacks. Julian Frotianie, a free Black man from San Domingo, opened such a school for enslaved persons to attend from 1819 – 1844 in Charleston, South Carolina (Perdue, 1976). There were many such schools like this throughout the South, and some of them were even purported to be also run by Frotianie.

Larger Southern cities had larger concentrations of Black populations, which typically offered better educational opportunities for Blacks than did rural locations and were often self-supporting. However, considering that the South was an agricultural region that depended upon enslaved persons labor, there was not much support or opportunity for self-sufficient Black folx. Thus, most Blacks who were exposed to education came to it by private instructor or Sabbath/Church school. However, an exception and possible historical conflation existed in “A colored “Santo Dominican” named Julian Troumontaine taught openly in Savannah up to 1829 when such an act was prohibited by law. He taught clandestinely thereafter, however, until 1844” (Woodson, 2008, p. 67). While the facts may be disputable as to where Julian taught, as he was purported to have taught in Charleston, South Carolina under a different last name in the above paragraph, there is no disputing when he taught and to whom he taught. His having to close his public school and create a Clandestine School was a microcosm of the educational experience for most Southern educated Blacks. Clandestine schools were how many Blacks were educated during the Antebellum period. 

During the Antebellum period, Blacks had to avoid the detection of slave regimes and patrols to educate themselves. One example of effectively executed avoidance manifested in a Black school in Savannah, Georgia from 1833-1865; the school’s “teacher, a black woman by the name of Deveaux, quickly expanded her literacy campaign during and following the war” (Anderson, 1988, p. 7). This type of behavior was mimicked across the South to eventually form an abundance of Common Schools in the South. But prior to those Common Schools were Clandestine schools. One of these Clandestine schools was run by yet another Black woman, Mary Peake. Mary Peake’s story helps to explain why she, herself, became an educator who made a Black Racial Literacy Rupture. Mary Smith Kelsey was born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1823 (Freedman, 1999). She was the child of a free woman of color, Sarah, and a Frenchmen father who was not allowed to marry Sarah due to Virginia Law. The father eventually returned to France without Sarah and Mary, but he did provide for the family and Mary’s education. In 1829, Mary came into direct contact with a Black educator when she was sent to live with her Aunt and attend school in Alexandria: “It is not unlikely that this was the school taught by Sylvia Morris who taught a primary school in Alexandria for about twenty years (about 1826-1846) … Kelsey is reported to have attended a number of schools during her ten years in Alexandria, the last being Mr. Nuthall’s … who taught in the First Baptist Colored Church” (p.1).  As a student, Kelsey likely encountered in Mr. Nuthall an educator who believed in the education of all Black students. Nuthall probably displayed “confidence in the ability of all students to do well; and compassion for, and understanding of, all students and the communities in which they live” (Lomotey, 1993, p. 396). Her experiences as a student gave her the impetus to teach enslaved children shortly after her arrival in Hampton, Virginia: “Between 1851 just after her marriage and 1861 when Hampton was burned by the retreating Confederate army, Mary Peake taught reading to free and enslaved African-Americans at the same time” (p. 2).

            Mary Peake courageously and surreptitiously created a Clandestine school in her home, as was a common practice for many Black educators. In her school, Mary Peake taught any and all Blacks who would come, whether freed or enslaved, young or old, but she most likely did so in small groups, for large congregations would have been very likely to draw the attention of Whites (Freedman, 1999). Worthy of mentioning, “Mary Peake taught, among others, Thompson Walker (her step-father), William Thornton, and William Davis, all of whom would remain important public leaders of the African-American community through the war and into Reconstruction” (p. 2). However, because of the Civil War, “By the summer of 1861, Hampton had been largely abandoned by whites mostly moving towards confederate strongholds …

and around 900 African-American refugees had made it to Fort Monroe. Any efforts or need to keep the school hidden were gone” (p.2). Mary Peake was teaching publicly and had 40-50 pupils by September of 1861. She even began teaching a night school that reportedly had “20 adults at night” (p. 3). Peake taught parents because she knew that “Caring in the Black family has had to be, in part, about the surrounding society, because it has had to provide children with the understanding and the strategies they need to survive racism” (Thompson, 1998, p. 532)(as cited in Beauboeuf-Lafontant, 2002, p. 80).

Lucy Unessay

Guiding Questions: 

  • In what immediate ways can care transform the classroom for both students and teachers?
  • What does care look like in a school system driven by capitalism? Can those even coexist?
  • How can care shift from an individual act/practice to a collective project?

Full UnEssay Here

Focus:  I am interested in deepening my critique and analysis of the ways that “soft” care (Rivera-McCutchen, 2012; Curry, 2016;), problematic White feminist notions of caring (Katz, 1999), and damage-framed (Tuck, 2009) pedagogy play out at the school where I teach, in my own teaching practice, and in the culture of my school.  I also want to find ways to center student voices in the conversations we have at my school and in the decisions that the teachers, staff, and administrators make in seeking to push our school to embody authentic, “critical care” (Rivera-McCutchen, 2012; Curry, 2016).

Unessay:  One of the central spaces where students and teachers have the opportunity to build caring relationships is in “crew” – an advisory program where one teacher and between 8 and 15 students meet every day for 30 minutes for a two year loop.  I am a junior-senior crew advisor, and have been with my current crew for the past two years.  As part of the senior experience, my students have reflected on how the school has shaped them and how they have shaped the school in multiple spaces, including their final “student-led” family conferences, as part of their final expedition (our school’s term for the interdisciplinary approach to learning that uses a common guiding question and set of objectives to frame the learning that happens in each class to build towards an interdisciplinary final project), Legacy, and as part of their final project for English, “Final Words,” where they give a speech to the people who know them best about their growth and learning. Although these are all powerful spaces of reflection for students, our school has no real pathway for students’ reflections, expertise, and voice to be centered in the decisions we make as a school.  And in my conversations with students over the years, this has been their greatest source of frustration with the school, heightening feelings of not being seen, heard, validated, or respected. 

I wanted to build more space to center student voices in the work that senior crew advisors and teachers were doing to create experiences for students. I spoke to the other seven senior crew advisors, and asked if we could implement some common lessons that talked explicitly about care in ways that built on the senior reflections happening in other spaces. I created a set of three lessons, with feedback from several other advisors, that all senior students engaged with during the first two weeks of May.  The purpose of the lessons was to build a framework for students to talk about their own understanding and experience with care, and to build towards sharing their expertise about how our school does and does not embody critical care.  We began by establishing some common language about care, both authentic and care and “problematic” care.  Then students began describing moments and spaces in school where they had experienced those different kinds of care.  The final lesson opened up space to begin evaluating the core aspects of our school in terms of how well they aligned to our understanding of authentic and problematic care.  Some conversations led to project ideas from students who want to share their feedback with the school in different capacities (including their Final Words, and joining the final teacher meetings of the year). Students captured their thinking in a series of Jamboards, which they got to choose to either keep private or share with the other crew advisors.

As a crew team, we came together after implementing the lessons to share our experiences and document some themes that emerged.  Many of the advisors shared that the conversations were some of the most animated that they had seen in a long time, and that students seemed really energized to have a space to talk about care.  We discussed how we might better align all three of the opportunities for student reflection during senior year (SLCs, the Legacy expedition, and Final Words) in a way that would expand student voice and offer opportunities for students to share their wisdom and vision for making our school better that could have real, material outcomes.  We are hopeful that we might be able to expand the initial three lessons to build out a more robust crew curriculum for seniors that could support this process, and also build on the proposals of students to join teacher teams when they make decisions, offer feedback about key aspects of the school (school policy, school traditions and rites of passage), and have more space to actively shape the direction of the school as a whole.

Fatima Sherif UnEssay 5/13/2021

Please see the link below to “A Radical Care Table Talk” (And Yes it’s a play off the Jada Pinkett-Smith Red table talk minus the the extra stuff)

Guiding questions: “Care” What does care look like when it is activated? How do we define care? And, how can we address care systemically?

I led a “Radical Care Table Talk” which featured my colleagues at the City University of New York. Alderson Magloire and Lawrence Patterson engaged me in a discussion regarding radical care. In this context, we sought to explore the ways in which care operates in education and systemically. We also discussed how we have seen care activated and the impact it has had on the work that we do. Defining the term “care” was critical to unpacking how we view the work that is done in education which then led to a discussion about the barriers to care. Ultimately, we engaged in a conversation that lends advice to recognizing the importance of care and offers strategies to embedding care in the work that educators and those alike can engage in.

Operationalizing Critical/Radical Care [Un(un)]essay)

So you know how at the beginning of the semester Rosa posed the question ‘How do you measure radical care?’ and I was feeling spicy and responded ‘Should we???’? Remember that? Okay well I am about to be the biggest hypocrite on the PLANET because that’s exactly what this project is.

Measuring Critical/Radical Care

My [un(un)]essay) is connected to the qualifying paper requirement I have in the sociology department. We have to write a paper of publishable quality in order to move on to level 2. So for this project I am using data from the NYC School Survey to try to operationalize an aspect of critical and radical care that I think is very important: Empathy. Specifically, I am thinking of critical empathy and critical perspective-taking. I am basically trying to figure out how well teachers can take up their students perspectives on various issues of social justice and social inclusion in their schools. If you peep the table below, it indicates the questions from the NYC school survey that I am looking at to answer my question.

Variable namestudent questionteacher question
Disability InclusivityAt this school students with disabilities are included in all school activities (lunch, class trips, etc.).At this school, students with disabilities are included in all school activities (lunch, class trips, etc.).
Culturally Responsive PedagogyMy teachers use examples of students’ different cultures/backgrounds/families in their lessons to make learning more meaningful for me.I am able to receive support around how to incorporate students’ cultural and linguistic backgrounds in my practice.
Relevance to Students’ Everyday LifeIn general, my teachers make their lessons relevant to my everyday life experiences.I am able to use my  students’ prior knowledge to make my lessons relevant to their everyday life
Curricular DiversityIn general, my teachers present positive images of people from a variety of races, ethnicities, cultures, and backgroundsI am able to adapt instruction to ensure it represents all cultures/backgrounds positively
Adaptive and Responsive Teaching PracticeMy teachers explain things a different way if I don’t understand something in class.I am able to
modify instructional activities and materials to meet the developmental needs and learning interests of all my students.
Fair DisciplineDiscipline is applied fairly in my school.Discipline is applied to students fairly in my school.
School Safety AgentsSchool safety agents promote a safe and respectful environment at this schoolSchool Safety Agents promote a safe and respectful environment at this school.
Bullying, Harassment, IntimidationAt this school students harass, bully, or intimidate other students. (also lots of sub questions about specific kinds of bullying/harassment)At this school students harass, bully, or intimidate other students.

Now, using the NYC School Survey responses to the above questions, I created an index of similarity based on the percent of teachers and students who agreed or strongly agreed with these statements. The formula for that similarity measure is 1-|students agree-teachers agree|. The closer to 1.00 on the similarity measure, the more students and teachers agreed on that statement. The closer to 0 on the similarity measure, the more students and teachers disagreed. For example, I had one school where 86% of teachers agreed that they could adapt instruction to make sure it respectfully portrayed everyone’s cultural background AND 86% of the students also agreed that their teachers presented positive representations of many cultures. So the score for that measure was 1.00.

I am interpreting this index as a measure of critical perspective-taking. If the teachers at a school are better at critical perspective taking, then they will have similar responses to their students on these 8 aspects of school climate and pedagogical practices. In other words, they will have a greater similarity index outcome.

Why critical empathy and critical perspective-taking?

When I was first introduced to the ideas of critical care, radical care, and armed love there were two components that stuck out to me the most. The first being the necessity of teachers as political beings. I loved that there was a concept that loudly proclaimed that teachers should be political, they should talk to their students about social issues and politics, and they should actively fight for their students’ best interests. The second reason I was drawn to these concepts is because it emphasized the importance of teachers being deeply empathetic with their students. Authentically empathetic. I believe that empathy (not sympathy) is a powerful catalyst for collectively-oriented and revolutionary change, which for me, is a good thing. So, the theoretical grounding for this project is in these two components of critical care, radical care, and armed love: political teachers and empathetic perspective-taking.

Below I am offering the bits and snippets from our class readings that I am using to theoretically orient my project. (Apologies for another boring table. My brain just works best with tables)

Antrop-Gonzalez and De Jesus2006“This teacher knowledge is crucial because it communicates that adults are aware of and understand the conditions that students live under” (p. 427)

“Students’ cultural world and their structural position must be fully apprehended, with school based adults deliberately bringing issues of race, difference, and power into central-focus. This approach necessitates the abandonment of a color-blind curriculum and a neutral assimilation process.” (p. 430)
Beauboeuf-Lafontant2002“As researchers have sought to address this problem, they have called for teachers to transform themselves into adults who can relate to and thus more effectively teach all children in our schools.” (p. 71)

“If school failure is a result of a “relational breakdown” (Ward, 1995) between teachers and students, where both groups see little in common or shared in purpose, then the academic success of poor, immigrant, and minority children lies very much in the quality of the relationships that their teachers establish with them” (p. 74)

“Political clarity is the recognition by teachers that there are relationships between schools and society that differentially structure the successes and failures of groups of children (Bartolome, 1994). Womanist teachers see racism and other systemic injustices as simultaneously social and educational problems. Consequently, they demonstrate a keen awareness of their power and responsibility as adults to contest the societal stereotypes imposed on children.” (p.77)

“Thus, womanist teachers readily demonstrate their political clarity: With their students, both in deed and in word, they share their understanding of society, an understanding that does not shy away from the reality of domination nor from the existence of resistance struggles against oppression. In essence, loving students means discussing such insights with them, not withholding knowledge
from them” (p.80)

“In other words, their capacity to act morally is based in “the ability to perceive people in their own terms and to respond to need” (Gilligan, 1986, p. 292). It is an intimacy with and not an aloofness from other people that motivates womanist educators to see personal fulfillment in working toward the common good.” (p. 81)

“Furthermore, to see children as innocent and incapable of wondering about the problems of our society is in fact to condemn them to the same despair we have about our social ills.” (p. 83)
Darder2009“He believed it was impossible to teach without educators knowing what took place in their students’ world. “They need to know the universe of their dreams, the language with which they skillfully defend themselves from the aggressiveness of their world, what they know independently of the school, and how they know it”
(Freire, 1998, p. 73). Through such knowledge, teachers could support students in reflecting on their lives and making individual and collective decisions for transforming their world.” (p. 506)
Duncan-Andrade2009“Second, critical hope audaciously defies the dominant ideology of defense, entitlement, and preservation of privileged bodies at the expense of the policing, disposal, and dispossession of marginalized “others.” We cannot treat our students as “other
people’s children” (Delpit, 1995)—their pain is our pain. False hope would have us believe in individualized notions of success and suffering, but audacious hope demands that we reconnect to the collective by struggling along side one another, sharing in the victories and the pain.” (p. 190)

“At the end of the day, effective teaching depends most heavily on one thing: deep and caring relationships. Herb Kohl (1995) describes “willed not learning” as the phenomenon by which students try not to learn from teachers who don’t authentically care about them. The adage “students don’t care what you
know until they know that you care” is supported by numerous studies of effective educators (Akom, 2003; Delpit, 1995; Duncan-Andrade, 2007; Ladson Billings, 1994). To provide the “authentic care” (Valenzuela, 1999) that students require from us as a precondition for learning from us, we must connect
our indignation over all forms of oppression with an audacious hope that we can act to change them.” (p. 191)
Khalifa, Gooden, and Davis2016“Inclusiveness and exclusiveness are at the center of culturally relevant teaching; culturally responsive teachers not only center students’ cultural norms but also their very beings, proclivities, languages, understandings, interests, families, and spaces
(Foster, 1995; Howard, 2003; Ladson-Billings, 1995).” (p. 1288)
Miller, Brown, and Hopson2011“You never get there by starting from there, you get there by starting from some here. This means, ultimately, that the educator must not be ignorant of, underestimate, or reject any of the “knowledge of living experience” with which educands come to school. (1970, p. 58)” (p. 1087)

”However, Freirean dialogue presents an additional contribution to the leadership conversation in its explicit portrayal of dialogue as a dialectic relationship between the oppressed and the oppressors. It depicts leaders as being engaged in a common plight with the people. Their solidarity is cemented by their recognition that they share a common fate—one group’s fuller humanization is necessarily influenced and, in turn, followed by the others.” (p. 1289)
Rivera-McCutchen2012“Teachers who care must also develop an acute understanding of the sociocultural and political contexts that have an impact on the lives of their students. For students of color especially, Rolón-Dow (2005) argues that teachers “must seek to understand the role that race/ethnicity has played in shaping and defining the sociocultural and political conditions of their communities” (p.656)
Rolon-Dow2005“To secure such engagement, teachers must build relationships of care and trust, and within such relationships students and teachers must construct educational objectives cooperatively.” (p. 86)

“to push caring theory beyond a theory centered on interpersonal relationships to a theory that needs grounding in a consideration
of the racialized contextual factors surrounding such relationships.” (p. 87)

“the racial/ethnic differences between them and their teachers affected the amount and type of care teachers offered to them.” (p. 100)

“First, critical care is grounded in a historical and political understanding of the circumstances and conditions faced by minority communities. Second, critical care seeks to expose how racialized beliefs inform ideological standpoints. Finally, critical care translates race-conscious historical and ideological understandings
and insights from counternarratives into authentic relationships, pedagogical practices, and institutional structures that benefit Latino/a students.” (p. 104)

“In this way, critical care calls on educators and schools to reconceptualize their relationships with students in ways that respond to the counterstories about race/ethnicity present in the communities of these students.” (p. 105)

“building relationships of authentic care must move beyond making assumptions about who students are and what their lives are like within their particular communities. Instead, concerted efforts must be made to create sustained interactions that allow students to share their perspectives of how ethnicity, social class, and gender dynamics affect their daily lives.”​ (p.106)

“This tendency to treat the student-teacher relationship in a vacuum created a school environment where it was difficult for students to feel cared for in substantive ways. Critical care is attuned to the differences between students and teachers and calls on teachers to care for students authentically, with an understanding of how these differences can affect relationships.” (p.106)

“To critically care for students, it is also imperative to interrogate
and seek to alter the ways in which educational care is unequally distributed along racial/ethnic lines.” (p. 107)
Tichnor-Wagner and Allen2016“In addition, authentically caring teachers have awareness of the social, cultural, and political contexts of their students, and incorporate that awareness into their teaching
of and interactions with students (Antrop-González & De Jesús, 2006;Beauboeuf-Lafontant, 2002; Rivera-McCutchen, 2012)” (p. 410)
Wilson2015“Hence, caring involves educators being racially conscious when needed, and taking risks to advocate and seek social justice for diverse students. It also requires an emotional investment in
marginalized students’ well-being (Bass, 2012; Beauboeuf-Lafontant,2002; Cooper, 2009a; Thompson, 1998; Wilson et al., 2013). In all, the latter conceptualizations of care are critical because they encompass acts of individual relational care but also urge one to be mindful of the macro level injustices that fuel systemic oppression. Such oppression contributes to the marginalization that affects many students’ lives and treatment
within schools. Critical notions of care are not colourblind like many traditional caring theories; rather, they directly speak to educators being responsive to the needs of racially minoritized students (Cooper, 2009a;Thompson, 1998). (p. 4-5)

“The principal suggested that her core traits as a transformative leader are: promoting ‘trust and honest dialogue—everyone has to feel safe; being open to new ideas; being honest with feedback; and, being willing to be a change agent’” (p.14)

So now what?

Thus far I have some findings that indicate that the radical care measure I made is positively correlated with more positive student outcomes. Below I have listed the outcomes I looked at:

  • Student Attendance
  • Collaborative Teachers Score (NYC DOE measure)
  • Trust Score (NYC DOE measure
  • % of students who feel their teachers respect them
  • % of students who feel they are learning a lot in their classes
  • % of students who feel that their classmates pay attention when they’re supposed to

So as the critical perspective-taking increases so do the above positive outcomes. Cool stuff, yeah? I am still working through the racial and socioeconomic results, but I will be including something that looks at race and class as it related to this critical perspective-taking project.

The reason I am presenting this to you all is because I could use feedback and suggestions! I am curious how convincing the radical care measure is. Do you think this is actually a good way to measure/operationalize critical/radical care? I also STRONGLY WELCOME any literature that you think could help me with this project. Anything related to empathy in teaching, perspective-taking, politically-oriented teaching, etc.

Thank you for taking a look at my project and thank you in advance for any and all recommendations, questions, comments, and snide remarks.

Also, Rosa, I am sorry for being such a hypocrite. Please forgive me.