Dallas ISD works with students for a more comfortable learning environment – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As we celebrate Black History Month, Dallas ISD highlights a new initiative. In the district, minorities represent more than 90% of the total student body.

“And what we’ve found is that a lot of students don’t agree with the current curriculum,” said Jada Weathers, Dallas ISD teacher.

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Weathers said she, and others, felt a sense of responsibility to adjust.

“Is the program they are familiar with culturally appropriate? Dallas ISD teacher Mariel Flores-Carter said.

In collaboration with the Institute for Learning at the University of Pittsburg and Community Design Partners in Seattle, the district has launched a new initiative, in which teachers and students participate in what they call empathy talks.

“So the teachers asked the students about their experience in their communities and at school with race and racism,” said Anthony Petrosky, co-director of the Institute for Learning at the University of Pittsburgh.

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“These questions I had answers but never asked them,” said Brayden Brown, ninth grade student with Wilmer Hutchins. “I could express myself and feel comfortable around people knowing that they had been through the same thing as me. “

Now teachers are now using the main ideas and themes that came out of these interviews to shape a program that they believe is more beneficial to the student body.

“To better understand each other as members of their communities,” said Petrosky.

“One of my main goals is to allow students to defend themselves,” said Flores-Carter.

“I hope this helps them understand that it’s okay to talk about racing,” said Weathers. “When you have that space of vulnerability, that’s when the real learning and growth begins. “

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