“Going Live” in Education: Believing in Contextualizing Content

“Going Live” in Education: Believing in Contextualizing Content

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8867-2.ch005
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In this chapter, the author explores the culturally responsive approach of contextualizing learning using the social media trend, going live, as a metaphor. Literature has demonstrated that culturally responsive educators approach the teaching and learning process by situating learning in the context of children's lives. The author demonstrates how educators' beliefs about content knowledge shapes their teaching approach and curriculum activities. The author makes the case that culturally responsive educators, also known as Green Thumb Educators, connect classroom learning to learning in the community and engage students in problem-solving. The author demonstrates, how culturally relevant educators approach learning by capturing the voices of their students through dialogic exchanges fostered by providing students with opportunities to “read” (interpret) and respond to their lived experiences and worldviews.
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On social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, users have the ability to go live on their account. When users go live, they are able to broadcast themselves in real time to connect with viewers across the world. Users typically go live when they have something interesting or something valuable to share with the world. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines the term go live, as “to begin operating or to become available for use.” In this same vein, culturally responsive educators should cultivate learning inside of their classroom (1) as if their classroom is always on live, (2) as if their students are all recording classroom experiences live –in fact, they are. Children are mentally recording their lived experiences, especially in the classroom. They are recording traumatic experiences of social and racial injustices in their communities (Love, 2016) and the communities of other people of color, and re-lived traumatic experiences or secondary trauma (de Zulueta, 2006; Van der Kolk, 2014) fostered intentionally or unintentionally by culturally and individually irresponsive teachers. Such experiences include witnessing and experience macro and microagressions and feelings of inferiority or alienation (Akbar, 1970, Emdin, 2010, Gilliam, et al, 2016, Solórzano, 1997). According to Merritt & Klein (2014), children who have experienced trauma are more likely to experience challenges adhering to the academic, behavior, and social norms of the school. When children are ‘acting out’ or ‘misbehavior’ we must consider that children may be “avoiding threats to safety and seeking well-being at every opportunity (p.31).” Many children despise being embarrassed or singled out before their peers. Another example of an academic norm is when teachers lecture to classroom children, encouraging rote-memorization of facts rather than contextualizing learning.

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