Assignments

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Do you teach? Do you want to teach (you don’t have to be a “teacher” to teach!)? Do you want to teach (and learn) differently?

This is our assignment archive for use in high school, college and university classes. We only ask that you acknowledge teachlearnchange.org as the source for the projects and activities, and respect the license under the Creative Commons terms of usage.We’re also interested in collaborating with others. If you are interested in sharing assignments you have used to good effect or are experimenting with, get in touch with us to make a pitch.

We should note: learning certainly isn’t restricted to the classroom, so these assignments need not be either. Several of these could be used by non-students who are interested in learning more, setting up an individual or group project or who need some help getting started in making change!

Embedded Media

This activity challenges you to think critically about what stories we are told by and through media like newspapers. Instead of considering war stories as truth, fact, or ‘what really happened’, we must ask critical questions about what perspective(s) these stories are told from and what gets left out.

Learning Through Collaborative Inquiry Assignment

Students are expected to  participate in a class activity where they make some initial inquiries into topics we will be studying. Students also demonstrate their planning skills by gathering information, organizing research, evaluating potential sources and producing a specific “inquiry product” for the class to use, that is, background and discussion questions based on these sources.

Line of Privilege

Through the Line of Privilege, students begin challenging themselves and each other to see how people are socially located within society based on interlocking identities such as race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, nationality, etc. This is often used in courses as an introduction to the privilege diary assignment.

Models of Learning

Take a look at these models of learning: the Spiral Model and the Learning Pyramid. Use these to develop activities that reflect popular education pedagogy: getting students doing and teaching as these are the best ways to learn; starting from their experiences; getting them to practice critical thinking skills and learn how to plan for action. Also provides ‘data’ about the increased retention associated with non-traditional teaching practices.

Now What? Action Project

So what issue(s) do you care about? What can you do to address this? How can you get others involved? Here is an action project that students carry out in our courses. But really, with motivation and hard work, anyone can take action. We suggest working with others, but you can do the action on your own.

Power and Privilege Within Your Purse

This is a great activity to engage individuals and encourage groups to start thinking about how power, privilege and oppression can be unpacked simply through what we literally carry along with us in our daily lives. This activity was inspired by some of the common items that women may be carrying in their purses. However, the activity is just as effective using backpacks, wallets, handbags, etc!

Privilege Diary 2016

This assignment presents a challenge: observe and analyze the interlocking systems of power and privilege that operate in our society. How is your own life, relationships and/or community shaped by unearned privileges, oppression and the exercise of power? Now what can you do about it?

Student Syllabus Design Assignment

In keeping with the method of popular education, the syllabus design assignment starts from where students are and enables all participants to contribute to deciding what themes/issues we learn about (within the parameters of the course topic). This ensures that teachers and students don’t get bored/boring doing the same thing every time, we get practice critically analyzing various texts (cause let’s face it we are all faced with implicit and explicit political messaging each day), and we have the opportunity to learn something new from each other.

Uncommon Commonalities

This is an excellent opening activity for a workshop or course. Provides an opportunity for students to meet each other, talk about what issues they think are important, start thinking critically about the course of study, and engage in a conversation about how to teach and learn from each other.

 

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