Changing the Paradigm of Who Holds Knowledge: Community Practitioners as Co-Teachers
Presented by Cynthia Orellana and Anusha Chaitanya, University of Massachusetts Boston
Our session will discuss our co-teaching pilot program which challenges the notion that faculty and academia are the sole legitimate holders of knowledge by bringing in community practitioners as equal co-teachers in the classroom, centering their knowledge in the teaching and learning experience and students’ voices as members of the community. Community practitioners also inform the development of student projects that are impactful for the community they work with. This innovative high impact educational model builds from UMass Boston’s public urban mission, and it intentionally focuses on the inclusion of knowledges and expertise of marginalized communities. The pilot is in its third cycle of implementation and has been assessed throughout. It is grounded in principles of equity in community-university learning partnerships and has added to this research through a recent publication in 2020. The last three years have seen unprecedented changes due to COVID-19 and the pilot has been through iterations under different modalities. The first pilot year was in person, the second year had to transition to online mid-way and the third year is now being implemented in a fully remote modality. These iterations and the assessment from these different iterations, we believe, can offer valuable contributions to the audience in the CUMU Learning and Sharing Virtual Series.
- Our session can help attendees envision how racial equity and social justice can be centered in community-university learning partnerships and community-engaged teaching and learning.
- The attendees will be able to learn about the co-teaching pilot program model that may inspire and help them think of adapting such a model for their own institutional context.
- The three years of iterations of the model in different modalities, including in person, hybrid and remote can help attendees understand the challenges and opportunities of implementing a model like this with the unprecedented changes we are going through due to COVID-19.
- Attendees will have an opportunity to see the results of assessment of the pilot over two years based on responses from 145 students and 16 faculty and community practitioners from diverse backgrounds, as part of the co-teaching pilot program.
- Attendees can takeaway how an initiative like ours can benefit students, faculty, and community practitioners in an urban, public higher education context.
- Practitioner Scholars Program Pilot Webpage
- Publication about the pilot’s first year assessment in the Journal of Higher Education, Outreach and Engagement in September 2020 titled: Striving for Equity: Community Engaged Teaching and Learning Through a Community Practitioner and Faculty Co-Teaching Model
- A Short 5-Minute Video About the Practitioner Scholars Program Pilot