Exploring/Exploding the Boundaries of Inclusive Teaching: Social Class Confronts Race and Gender

  • Phyllis Charlotte Brown


It was supposed to be just a one-time, short-term community service assignment that I had accepted, connected to my faculty work in training teachers at Lesley University. As I prepared to teach study skills for the Alternative Education Program (AEP) in Providence, Rhode Island, I was both anxious and resistant—not only because this was a new challenge but also because I had resolved to act in a way that was completely at odds with the values and perspectives that I usually teach my Lesley University student teachers. I was determined not to concern myself with the sociopolitical backgrounds of my AEP students. My focus would be on teaching study skills: that was all they were going to get from me. Diversity, social class, personal, or school issues would not be my concern. By taking this unlikely stance, I was betraying my own long-held belief that a teacher should care about where her students come from, who they are as individuals, and what they have faced in life.


Social Class Black Woman Reading Comprehension Criminal Justice System White Student 
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Copyright information

© Arlene Dallalfar, Esther Kingston-Mann, and Tim Sieber 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phyllis Charlotte Brown

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