UT Students learn about intersection of race and education

The Daily Texan | June 24, 2019

A new approach to a UT-Austin course is helping students learn about the history of American education by studying the intersection of race and education in Austin. Luis Urrieta, a professor of cultural studies in education, has taught the course “Sociocultural Influences on Learning” since the fall semester of 2006. After recent restructuring to the class, the course now allows students to interact with local communities and schools in addition to reading textbooks and having discussions. This spring, Urrieta’s students engaged with Austin elementary school students.As part of the course, Urrieta takes his classes on a “caminata” — a walk through the East Austin community and Austin ISD’s Zavala Elementary. “One of my colleagues first introduced me to ‘the walk’ nine years ago, and I saw how valuable the walk was for the students, so I decided to incorporate it in my class,” Urrieta said. “I have since encouraged my graduate students to incorporate it into their curriculum and for the multiple sections for this course.” The walk is a way for students to visit local communities and see Zavala Elementary, a once-segregated school that opened in the 1930s for Mexican-American students. “This course not only focuses on Mexican-American and African-American experiences in education, but because we are in Austin, there is a particular focus on Austin communities,” Urrieta said. “This focus helps expose students to critical issues in education and help them navigate education within a sociocultural landscape.”

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How are schools and districts using digital content? And is it making a difference in classrooms across the U.S.? New research and resulting data from Project Tomorrow and DreamBox Learning provides greater understanding in this new era of personalized learning and differentiated instruction.

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