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Literature Synthesis 

A key component to our lesson study is finding ways to understand student thinking through collaboration and analysis. As we have been exploring different pieces of writing on this topic, David Conley and Linda Darling-Hammond offer a key aspect of what assessment should look like in the 21st Century. Assessment should be a combination of sit-down and performance based assessments. This will allow for teachers to examine student thinking in a variety of formats (Conley & Darling-Hammond, 2013). Collaboration and analysis connect to the performance task aspect of this updated assessment style. As seen in “Making Thinking Visible” by Ron Ritchhart and David Perkins, learning and thinking are a social experience and it is crucial to engage in collaboration to achieve true learning. By making thinking visible students are able to build off of each other's ideas and create analysis based on what they are thinking and what their classmates might be seeing. This type of learning and collaborating specifically supports ESL students. Based on this research, we have decided to utilize an application called Nearpod that allows for students to publicly share and build on each other's ideas. Furthermore, it is important to recognize that there are other ways of showing understanding than just the written word (Love, 2019). 


Another crucial component to our lesson study is connectedness of communities. One way to build connectedness of community is through understanding the psychology of racism. In the book, “Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? And other conversations about race,” Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum focuses on the different psychology levels black students go through in schooling and how it is different than white students. By being able to understand the different development levels of black students as well as other students of color, teachers are able to support students of color in a more effective way. This is crucial for white teachers in particular to understand because as you can see in Ladson-Billings article, “Is the Team Alright?” it shows that a majority of teachers' identities don’t align with the identities of the students they teach. To put it bluntly, the majority of teachers are white. She states that, “the real problems facing teacher education are the disconnections between and among the students, families, and community and teachers and teacher educators. These dis-connections emanate from differences in race, class, cultural background, and socioeconomic status” (Ladson-Billings, 2005). This understanding connects deeply to another piece of work by Ladson-Billings called “It’s Not the Culture of Poverty, It’s the Poverty of Culture: The Problem with Teacher Education” (2006). This connects to our key aspects around joy, resistance, and hardship because we are trying to push away from the use of culture as a form of otherness and look at how we can actually bring in these different aspects of our students into the classroom space. We want to push away from traditional teaching models and see what can be done by actually looking at other ways of learning in different cultures. One example of bringing in other cultures into the classroom is by utilizing the other languages students in your class might know. Bettina Love states, “failing a test because your language is deemed inferior communicates a message about your identity and ideas of who is and what is smart” (Love, 2019). If we are only living off of the written word and reading in english, we leave out an incredible opportunity for students who speak other languages to express themselves and build confidence in their learning. Furthermore, it is crucial for teachers to push back on spirit murdering. It is our responsibility to bring humanity into the classroom and make sure that every student matters. 


Conley, D. T., & Darling-Hammond, L. (2013). Creating Systems of Assessment for Deeper Learning. Stanford Center for

Opportunity Policy in Education.

Ladson-Billings, G. J. (2005, May/June). Is the Team Alright? Diversity and Teacher Education. American Association of College

Colleges for Teacher Education, 56(3), 229-234. 10.1177/0022487105275917

Landson-Billings, G. (2006). It’s Not the Culture of Poverty, It’s the Poverty of Culture: The Problem with Teacher Education.

Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 37(2), 104-109.


Love, B. L. (2019). We want to do more than survive : abolitionist teaching and the pursuit of educational freedom. Beacon Press.

Ritchhart, R., & Perkins, D. (2008, February). Making Thinking Visible. Educational Leadership, 65(5), 57-61.

Schaber, P., Wilcox, K., Whiteside, A. L., Marsh, L., & Brooks, D. C. (2010). Designing Learning Environments to Foster Affective

Learning: Comparison of Classroom to Blended Learning. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 4(2), Article 12.

Tatum, PhD., B. D. (2017). Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race.

Perseus Books Group.

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