Teachers as Scholars: African American Literature of the Civil Rights Movement – 2/7/13

CTI Fellows will share new curriculum they created about African American literature relating to civil rights, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Gantt Center for African American Art + Culture in uptown Charlotte.

Sponsored by Charlotte Teachers Institute, the Gantt Center and PNC Bank, this “Teachers as Scholars” event will feature CMS teachers who collaborated in an intensive, semester-long CTI seminar, “African American Literature of the Civil Rights Movement.” Brenda Flanagan, the Edward Armfield Professor of English at Davidson College, led the seminar.

Dr. Flanagan’s seminar explored the Black Arts Movement and poetry and drama that reflected and paralleled the modern civil rights movement from 1955 to 2000. Each of the 13 CTI Fellows in the seminar produced an extensive, student-centered curriculum unit for their own classroom, and to be shared with for teachers everywhere. Three of these teachers, from elementary, middle and high school levels, will present their work during the Feb. 7 Teachers as Scholars program.

“One of CTI’s strategic goals is to provide opportunities to showcase CMS teachers’ innovative scholarship created in CTI seminars to a wider community audience,” said Scott Gartlan, CTI executive director. “This partnership with the Gantt Center will serve as an important step in fulfilling this goal.”

Free and open to the public, the event will begin with a reception and viewing of the Gantt exhibition “America I AM: The African American Imprint.” Presentations and a panel discussion with Dr. Flanagan and the three fellows will follow at 6:30 p.m. Featured topics and teachers will include:

  • African American Literature of the Civil Rights Movement – Brenda Flanagan, Davidson College.
  • Using Poetry to Teach Children about the Civil Rights Movement – Elouise Payton, kindergarten-third-grade teacher, Barringer Academic Center.
  • The Power Perspective: Reading the Literature of the Civil Rights Movement through a Socio-Historical Lens – Stefanie Carter-Dodson, eighth-grade language arts teacher, Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School.
  • Art and Black Identity in the Civil Rights Movement – Larry Bosc, social studies teacher, East Mecklenburg High School.

Each of the 13 teachers in the seminar produced a unique set of lessons related to African American literature of the civil rights movement and designed specifically for their own students.
“We hope that these units inspire other teachers to share their creativity with colleagues in an effort to benefit more students in more classrooms across the district,” Gartlan said. Dr. Flanagan’s seminar was one of eight CTI conducted on a wide range of topics for a total of 94 CMS teachers from all grade levels and subject areas, led by Davidson College and UNC Charlotte faculty. The units developed in all eight seminars will be posted soon on the CTI and Yale National Initiative websites for use by teachers around the world. CTI recently announced a new set of eight seminars for CMS teachers to begin in April.