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Troubleshooting barriers to learning: Perspectives from Philadelphia Students

Session 2
Shawn Flythe, Argelis Minaya, and other U School students — The U School

The goal is to move teachers to compassion and understanding. Weare looking for solutions that will potentially work in the present and future. Students from the U School, a non-selective Philadelphia public school, will share some background about themselves and talk about barriers that have affected their learning. Next, multiple teachers will openly share barriers that they face that may pertain to students. We will discuss as a group how the barriers that both students and teachers identified impact learning and student well-being.

Then, a student facilitator will lead groups of teachers and administrators to come up with clear and actionable solutions. Each student will record a one minute video of their group discussing solutions. They will post it on social media sites and hashtag the solution.

Then everyone will come together as a group and we will discuss one clear solution that all can agree to implement in their individual contexts. Once we come up with one concrete solution, it will become a hashtag. After the session is over every person will post something about the session that they will take away from the session, ending it with the hashtag.

Teachers who attend this session will learn how they can provide incentives to learning, keep students engaged, and establish a relationship of care, mutual respect, and moral support.

Conversational Practice

In the first half of the session, students will share their experiences with the educators present. There will be four students and they will sit at different spaces at the table. Then each student will share the barriers that they face that affect their learning. Next, teachers will acknowledge what the students say and share whether they understand those barriers or if they have their own barriers that hinder them.

For the last part of the session, everyone will be split into four groups. Each student will lead the conversation of coming up with solutions, to overcoming barriers that students and teachers face to learning. One minute video of the process of coming up with a solution will be recorded and posted on social media by the student in each group, followed by a hashtag.

Then everyone will come together in one group and decide what's the best solution. Once everyone has agreed to one solution every person who attends the solution is required to share something about the session followed by the hashtag. Lastly, participants will leave their contact information so the U School students can follow up after six weeks to see how they have implemented solutions discussed at the session.

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