My, How We’ve Grown!

Identity, Education and Power is 6 months old! My vision for this publication is geared to serve a long range plan. In the digital arena, “long-range” may not be very long at all and often such plans turn out to be far less compelling (to investors & advertisers, I suppose) than the mathematics of reach and scale. Nevertheless, Identity, Education and Power (which is built for readers rather than investors) has set up house here on Medium and looks forward to welcoming more voices with fresh perspectives and thoughtful takes on where and how these three themes intersect, overlap and instruct.

So far, this space has been host to mighty contributions from a variety of authors. Jennifer Borgioli Binis offered up a controversial exploration of whiteness at the cross section of gender politics in her widely read think-piece: Identity in Education and the Responsibility of Power. In a nutshell, it’s spicy. Addressing the topic of culturally relevant teaching, Angela Dye, PhD counsels us: “Don’t talk about it, be about it!” In her essay, Blackness, Visibility and Instructional Relevance, she challenges educators to go beyond lip service and demonstrate in concrete and real ways that “Black Lives Matter” in their classrooms.

Ed-tech voices, Junaid Mubeen and Audrey Watters, give us pause by inviting us to consider how we perceive and process the promises of an industry that now regularly generates billions in investment dollars. In Relationships Before Scale, Junaid assures us that competent and caring teaching by real people (not screens or robots) will continue to be essential for successful learning even with the myriad benefits of digital tools at our disposal. Audrey Watters looks at the algorithmic factoring operating at the heart of ed tech’s most recent promises to revolutionize learning through personalisation. Her sobering analysis, Identity, Power and Education’s Algorithms will remain relevant for some time to come.

Most recently, I have been especially honored to welcome poetry into the collection. Shelly Sanchez Terrell describes a mother’s conversation with her beautiful brown daughter in “What Will I tell her when she asks me why she isn’t a part of the rainbow…” and ℳąhą Bąℓi shared “I’m Not Angry at You” — a heartfelt call to action for all of us to decolonize our minds and check our biases.

As host of this space, I have also found occasion to offer my own take on first, the how and why of this publication and at other junctures on the importance of humor or understanding that no two social media accounts are ever exactly alike. What I am discovering as I recruit authors and create a home for the themes that matter deeply to me — the soil we are tending here is becoming more fruitful, is generating more diversity, and developing its own distinct ecosystem which furthers its growth. These are the signs I see for a sustainable future.

These are only some of the highlights you’ll find in this growing collection. Some authors you’ll also find here include Sarah Thomas, Paul Thomas, Kris Giere and for real, Tressie McMillan Cottom. As curator I’m not running with volume or aiming for speed. Contributions trickle in, a piece at a time. They are thoughtful, relevant, personal, and unique. Each article, essay, poem has its own pathway into and through the richly overlapping themes: identity, education and power.

The next six months are wide open. What will you bring to the Identity, Education and Power table? We’re waiting to hear. What will you say next? Submission guidelines can be found here.

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