This episode features a conversation with three educators working to remake parts of the middle grades experience in a Chicago public school through a Liberatory Design process. Joyce Pae is principal of The Chicago Academy, or TCA, a preK through eighth grade school in the northwest side of the city. Oscar Newman is a National Board Certified science and math teacher at TCA. Shelby Hildreth is the Director of Program Design on the LiberatED Way team at AUSL, which is facilitating the Liberatory Design work at TCA. The process works to engage educators to reflect on teaching and learning and school environment and policy to advance equity in deep, specific and measurable ways.
Joyce, Oscar, Shelby and Jason talk about The Chicago Academy and the students and community it serves, some of the immediate challenges educators are facing this year as we continue to work through the pandemic, what the Liberatory Design process is, the way it’s being paired with adolescent development to focus on the middle grades, the application of the design process at TCA, the specific equity challenges that were identified and addressed through the process, the ways TCA worked to amplify youth voice and test new strategies that better aligned with adolescent developmental needs, and how educators across different contexts and environments can utilize Liberatory Design to address their own challenges.
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