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Minding the Obligation Gap in Community Colleges and Beyond

Theory and Practice in Achieving Educational Equity


Jeremiah J. Sims, Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza, Lasana O. Hotep, Jeramy Wallace and Tabitha Conaway

It is difficult to find justice-centered books geared specifically for community college practitioners interested in achieving campus wide educational equity. It is even more difficult to find a book in this vein written, exclusively, by community college practitioners. Minding the Obligation Gap in Community Colleges and Beyond is just that: a concerted effort by a cross-representational group of community college practitioners working to catalyze conversations and eventually practices that attend to the most pressing equity gaps in and on our campuses. By illuminating the constitutive parts of the ever-increasing obligation gap, this book offers both theory and practice in reforming community colleges so that they function as disruptive technologies. It is our position that equity-centered community colleges hold the potential to call out, impede, and even disrupt institutionalized polices, pedagogies, and practices that negatively impact poor, ethno-racially minoritized students of color. If you and your college is interested in striving for educational equity campus-wide please join us in this ongoing conversation on how to work for equity for all of the students that we serve.

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Chapter Five Enacting Educational Equity




Enacting Educational Equity Train-the-Trainer Series, a Case Study

In Chapter Four, I operationalized integral terms including pedagogy, critical pedagogy, critical-reality pedagogy, and socio-academic synergy among others. It makes sense here to speak to what we consider to be an expanded view of pedagogy. To be clear, we are arguing that pedagogy is not limited to classroom interactions between educators and students. A pedagogue is a teacher. Each teacher has a way to interact with those whom they hope to teach, to educate. This is their pedagogy. So, then, it follows that staff that work in financial aid, because they are teaching students how to access financial aid, have a particular and specific kind of pedagogy. So, this course is not limited to faculty, but inclusive of all educators—administrators, faculty, and staff.

In our initial run, in spring of 2017, we featured a coursework component via a course titled: Critical Pedagogical Perspectives on Instructional Design. This course was created as a continuous suite of interactions geared to catalyze conversations around just what transformative pedagogies can look like at the community college level. As we know, often in community colleges, professional development is limited to flex days, which occur two to three times per year, or one-off experiences with experts in the field via talks and/or keynote addresses. And while these ←127 | 128→times are useful, faculty and staff are often left with...

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