In today’s polarized social and political climate, teaching about race in K-12 schools has been a divisive issue. In some places, educators are grappling with legislation that bans some subjects and books from being taught. Unfortunately, much of this debate has been divorced from the actual content of these books, how teachers engage with them, and how students receive them. In collaboration with Dora Demszky and Sarah Levine from the Stanford Graduate School of Education, SPARQ is working to better understand three major players in the debate about teaching of race in schools: novels, teachers, and students.
Immersive Cultural Experiences
While programs that engage people in immersive cultural experiences can produce positive outcomes, little is known about how and why they work. Partnering with Honeymoon Israel (HMI), which sends couples with at least one Jewish partner on immersive trips to Israel, and Ari Kelman from the Stanford Graduate School of Education, SPARQ is examining how participating in HMI’s program can have lasting impacts on couples’ identities, relationships, and families.
Empowering Music Education
Music education can benefit youth’s cognitive abilities and engagement, but high-quality music education is often hard to access in underserved communities. Partnering with the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), SPARQ is researching the potential of music programs to foster the social-emotional development, academic engagement, and empowerment of youth from diverse neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
People often mistake race for something that people “are” rather than actions that people “do,” hindering their ability to fight racism. Partnering with Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE), SPARQ developed a digital toolkit for educators and facilitators who want to foster students’ and coworkers’ racial literacy. The toolkit contains a series of short films and educational materials featuring Stanford scholarship about how people do race and how to undo racism. Check out the toolkit.