Natalie /Cultural Capital and the Dynamics of Power within the Classroom/Cultural Capital, Power, Role of the Teacher, Student Engagement, Community, Creators

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1) Topic/Questions/Controversies

Main Topic: Cultural Capital and the Dynamics of Power within the Classroom

Questions: • How have the power dynamics of the classroom changed? • How do teachers respond to student interests and community generated cultural capital? • In what ways has technology within the classroom changed the role of the teacher? • How are educators using student cultural capital and technology to engage students? • In acknowledging community created works and capital, how does the classroom environment change? Controversies: • Why are teachers resistant to including student capital in the classroom? • How is the current school system making shifting power dynamics more difficult? • Do the students have too much power already? • How do we respond to parents who disagree with new teaching methods?

2) Why it Matters

As we have explored in this class, it is becoming more and more difficult to engage students in our classrooms. In my experience, many teachers have been reluctant to admit the changing dynamics of power within the classroom. I want to explore how technology has done two things: create a larger community via the Internet that allows students to access new avenues of culture and how that culture creates a sense of wealth or capital. Secondly, I want to think about the ways in which technology has been integrated into the classroom, and how this has “displaced” the teacher. In our readings it seems clear that we need to trust our students with their abilities and ideas. Why are teachers so resistant to this? In my research I would like to interview some current teachers and ask them for their opinions on technology within the classroom and if they feel it has changed the power dynamic within the classroom. I would also like to relate this to my own teaching practice and my experience with “sharing the power” within the classroom.


3) Initial Research Pathways

From our class discussions, I will be using research that pertains to attention, engagement, the role of the teacher and the expert v. the amateur. I will also be looking into media coverage of various educators who have embraced student cultural capital, or have adapted the change of power dynamics within the classroom. I will be looking into online communities such as Youtube and Facebook for opinions and examples of changing roles due to technology. For example, many teachers on a Ontario Teacher’s Facebook group have protested the “dab” or “bottle flipping” within the classroom for no reason other than that it is “annoying”. Given this information I’m interested in exploring why they dislike these displays so much and the possibly difference it makes when you accept them. I plan on creating video or voice recorded interviews with current teachers and have their opinion about current practices and changing dynamics. I’m also interested in talking with “creators” of cultural capital such as dancers, spoken word artists, writers; and how their experiences were shaped by dynamics in the classroom.

-I think that another interesting pathway might be to interview teachers who taught 20+years ago or research those teachers because those educators would have shared a different power dynamic and role with students. Then you could do comparisons to how teachers are either embracing new roles or rejecting these roles. --Kayla (talk) 18:22, 21 February 2017 (PST)

4) Media Tools

I will be exploring tools I believe to have “low threshold/high ceiling” abilities such as iBook, Twine, Garage band, Final Cut, Wix and Camtasia.

iBook: This will be used as the backbone of the project. All information will be presented using this medium as it allows for seamless integration of video, text, and sound.

GarageBand and Final Cut: These two applications will be used in editing recorded interviews, found footage, and creator’s performances. In theory, I plan on using garage band to make music for the project but it depends on project duration and overall time.

Wix, Twine and Camtasia: I would use these technologies to give examples of how to easily add website creation into the classroom as well as basic coding. Camtasia would be what I use to record this.