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Protocols for Equity

Footnotes posts summarize the newest research related to student-led discussion. Think of it as teacher-approved SparkNotes (with better citations) for papers published by top schools of education, research-based websites, and the think tanks.

Zaretta Hammond, “The Power of Protocols for Equity.” Zaretta Hammond’s recent article for Educational Leadership argues that, in order for students to engage meaningfully in classroom discussions, “we need robust talk structures” to scaffold that engagement. The imperative is particularly important for disengaged, introverted, and historically marginalized populations. Hammond’s expertise on culturally responsive education informs the practices she encourages, which prioritize prior knowledge, access points for marginalized students, student agency to direct the conversation, and familiar communication styles to enhance communication. Though building protocols around these values seems like it might impede free flowing discussion, Hammond suggests that it does the opposite, instead opening up conversations beyond the same few voices. We love the article for Hammond’s up-front challenge to assumptions of what a “free-flowing” conversation might mean, and for her suggestions of how to incorporate recognizable student culture (in this case, hip-hop culture!) into classroom practice to create comfort and challenge, simultaneously, for young people.

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