1. Elizabeth Wright
  2. Using a Personalized Genetics & Genealogy Approach to Improve Learning Outcomes in the Health Sciences in Middle School-Aged Youth
  3. http://fyrclassroom.org
  4. Pennsylvania State University, University of South Carolina, American Museum of Natural History
  1. Lindsay Fulton
  2. Director of Research Services
  3. Using a Personalized Genetics & Genealogy Approach to Improve Learning Outcomes in the Health Sciences in Middle School-Aged Youth
  4. http://fyrclassroom.org
  5. American Ancestors
  1. Nina Jablonski
  2. http://sites.psu.edu/ninajablonski/
  3. Evan Pugh University Professor of Anthropology
  4. Using a Personalized Genetics & Genealogy Approach to Improve Learning Outcomes in the Health Sciences in Middle School-Aged Youth
  5. http://fyrclassroom.org
  6. Pennsylvania State University
  1. Brandon Ogbunu
  2. Assistant Professor (and Finding Your Roots Instructor)
  3. Using a Personalized Genetics & Genealogy Approach to Improve Learning Outcomes in the Health Sciences in Middle School-Aged Youth
  4. http://fyrclassroom.org
  5. Brown University
  1. Michael Turner
  2. Finding Your Roots Instructor
  3. Using a Personalized Genetics & Genealogy Approach to Improve Learning Outcomes in the Health Sciences in Middle School-Aged Youth
  4. http://fyrclassroom.org
  5. Morehouse College
Facilitators’
Choice
Public
Choice
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Elizabeth Wright

    Elizabeth Wright

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2018 | 09:55 p.m.

    Welcome to our page!  Thank you for stopping by. Feel free to stop by our website at www.fyrclassroom.org to see more videos and get access to the full curriculum.

     

    Every day we'll have at least one person from our group check in, and engage with viewers. We're particularly interested in three facets of our work:

     

    * For educators: Imagine that you were going to implement this curriculum in your own classroom/school. What kind of support do you think that you and your students would need to navigate discussions about race as a biological reality as well as a social construct.

    * For researchers: What suggestions do you have to push our thinking? Also, do you think you, or someone you know, might be interested in partnering with us as we move to scale this up and out.

    * For scientists: In what ways do you think that scientific advances in Direct-to-Consumer DNA tests might impact the information that will be available for consumers, particularly those under 18?

     

    Beyond that, if you have a question, feel free to ask. Over the next eight days, the following co-presenters will periodically be available:

     

    * Me: curriculum designer, camp director, researcher.

    * Nina Jablonski: PI of the study, and along with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., inspiration of the work.

    * Brandon Ogbunu: Camp Instructor (2016 and 2017)

    * Michael Turner: Camp Instructor (2017)

    * Lindsay Fulton, Genealogist, New England Historical Genealogical Society.

    * Occasional surprise guests and visitors, TBA.

     

    We all look forward to hearing from you, and having a chat; enjoy!

  • Icon for: Kris Morrissey

    Kris Morrissey

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 15, 2018 | 11:48 p.m.

    Wow, what a gutsy and incredibly rich project!  I am fascinated with the question of how genetic testing may change the ways museums engage in the exploration and stories around who we are.  A couple years ago, I did a small seminar with a handful of graduate students to explore these types of questions and we all had our DNA tested and had interesting discussion about implications of these new genetic services.

    As a parent of an adopted child, I was particularly pleased to see an example of a participant who was adopted and I wonder how you steer the philosophical conversations around who and how we define who we are?

    Thanks for sharing this fabulous project.

     
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    Sarah Hampton
    Elizabeth Wright
  • Icon for: Elizabeth Wright

    Elizabeth Wright

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 12:09 a.m.

    Hi Kris,

     

    Thanks for joining the conversation!

     

    Over the course of our six research camps, and one non-research camp, we had several young scientists who were adopted, and we were very clear about using inclusive language the discussing the unique "issues" these young scholars would have to consider.

     

    Our curriculum is framed around three questions in service to the greater question of Who Am I? We ask our young scientists to consider who they are genetically, genealogically/socioculturally, and intentionally. It is our most sincere belief that it takes more than genes to make a family. You may not be the genetic product of your family, but you are very much a genealogical and sociocultural product! To that end, we encourage campers to use what they learn about their genetic ancestry as a catalyst for researching who their biological genealogy/culture. What foods are eaten, what holidays are celebrated, what lullabies are sung, and in what ways might you want to incorporate them into your life and the life of your family?

     

    I should point out that we also reminded our campers that their adoptive families' genealogical and sociocultural histories, are their histories, too, now.

     

    Part of the curriculum has a "mystery" that needs solving: there are 20 individual sets of DNA reports (without any names), and students were tasked with working as a group of 20 to identify the mom, dad, brother, sister, brother. When they ask questions that are relevant to solving the mystery, additional parts of information - including genealogical research - are disclosed, causing shifts in their collective approach to solving the problem. "The brothers are adopted! Of course! Duh, you don't have to be related to be family!!" 

     

    Again, I like keeping people comfortably uncomfortable :)

     
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    Sarah Hampton
  • Icon for: Kris Morrissey

    Kris Morrissey

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 16, 2018 | 12:33 a.m.

    I love your approach and applaud the opportunities for the learning that come from being comfortably uncomfortable!

     
    2
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    Elizabeth Wright
    Sarah Hampton
  • May 14, 2018 | 03:17 a.m.

    What a terrific project, and great video!  Have you run into any issues with absence of genetic or genealogical information with any particular population?

     
    2
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    Sarah Hampton
    Elizabeth Wright
  • Icon for: Brandon Ogbunu

    Brandon Ogbunu

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 09:07 p.m.

    Thank you! Technological advancements in molecular biology have made it pretty easy to recover genetic information from almost everyone, with varying degrees of resolution: some populations have more detail with regards to region/place of origin. But as a whole, most individuals are able to recover meaningful ancestral information from their genomic data.  Genealogy, however, is much more individual and population dependent. And so, yes: it can be difficult to recover lots of information for some individuals

     
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    Sarah Hampton
    Elizabeth Wright
    Barbara Rogoff
  • Icon for: Lindsay Fulton

    Lindsay Fulton

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 01:34 p.m.

    Barbara,

    Yes- that is a great question and something that we should all be aware of when working with a diverse group of students. As the presenter for the genealogical portion of the camp, I found (and expected to find) that some campers had a more difficult time locating documentation for their ancestors. Brandon has a great discussion of this point in the genealogy episode of the camp, which you can see here: https://wpsu.psu.edu/digital/finding-your-roots-the-seedlings/genealogy/

    For those students who had trouble finding records, I did have some "no-fail" case studies on hand, so that they could also participate, and more importantly, locate historical records. I walked the campers through a case study on Eleanor Roosevelt, which was a great way for the entire group to be a part of the discussion, but I also had extra case studies for those who needed them when we broke out for individual work. While not ideal, it was a great way for campers to stay involved in the material.

     

     
    2
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    Elizabeth Wright
    Sarah Hampton
  • Icon for: George Hein

    George Hein

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 11:24 a.m.

    Lovely and powerful curriculum.  Do you see any differences in resources used by students to uncovering family histories that are correlated with different cultural backgrounds of students?

     
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    Elizabeth Wright
  • Icon for: Elizabeth Wright

    Elizabeth Wright

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 01:20 a.m.

    Hi George, great question!

     

    During our pilot year we had a handful of resources that were mostly helpful to kids/families of European descent (the Latter Day Saints have done an admirable job tracking down, and systematically digitizing, records). This, as you can imagine, was frustrating for our young scientists whose families have roots in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, etc. 

     

    We tracked down additional resources for year two (see below) but if we're being honest, it's impossible to uncover digital documentation that was destroyed or never existed. In these cases, we try to encourage our young researchers to consider the following things:

     

    * Perhaps there are primary source records that exist that haven't been identified and digitized (yet)

    * Perhaps there is a rich oral tradition that can be uncovered by traveling to a specific geographic location and interviewing individuals

    * Maybe, for now, focus on what you do know. For example: Let's say I that I know that I was adopted from a specific orphanage in a particular town, and that my genetic ancestry indicates that I have ABC ancestry. I can research what customs and practices are significant there, I can research about local foods and holidays, lullabies and rites of passage. And maybe I can embrace these traditions and make them my traditions.

     

    The quest to identify genealogical and genetic ancestry resources that are accessible and/or scientifically rigorous, continues.

     

    Here's where we start:

     

    www.familysearch.org

    www.americanancestors.org

    https://www.archives.gov/research/alic/reference/ethnic-heritage.html

    www.slavevoyages.org

    https://www.wikitree.com

    https://www.isogg.org

  • Icon for: George Hein

    George Hein

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 08:12 a.m.

     Elizabeth,

    Thanks for your answer.  I'm not surprised that there is a disparity in the availability of records for students from non-European cultures.  But as you have recognized, that also provides a powerful lesson for greater understanding of the consequences of historical discrimination.

    Personally visiting far away locations may be difficult for students, but, in doing some research on my own family background, I've found  through web searches some local historical societies or individuals who know a lot about the population of some small town and are willing to share that information. 

    I suspect that you are gaining a lot of useful information that can help the next groups of students who participate in this (or other similar) programs. As Professor Gates says, we are all interested in ourselves.

     

     
    2
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    Sarah Hampton
    Elizabeth Wright
  • Icon for: Lindsay Fulton

    Lindsay Fulton

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 01:49 p.m.

    George,

    Thank you for your question- it is an important one for instructors who wish to bring this material to their own classrooms.

    When you run into these issues, which will inevitably happen, take the opportunity to use the lack of records as a means of developing a group discussion: Why can't we find the records? Is it because of privacy laws or because the records never existed in the first place? What was happening during the historical era that might explain the lack of records? The campers are very aware of these issues, and can learn from each other about these limitations. 

    Finally, as the presenter for the genealogical portion of this curriculum, I've also found it helpful, for those students who are frustrated by the lack of records, to research: 1. persons in history that share the same name as themselves or others in their family tree or 2. research the neighborhood in which they currently live. This still allows for a personal connection to genealogical research, when traditional genealogical research is impossible due to privacy or historical limitations. 

     
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    Elizabeth Wright
  • Icon for: Rachel Shefner

    Rachel Shefner

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 11:52 a.m.

    Great video, awesome program-always great to see influential people using that influence to do important things-like improve science education for underrepresented communities! I do have a few questions about the impact of the program on students. You mention an increase in student engagement-how are you measuring that? Are you measuring any other student impacts? I love the interdisciplinary focus of this. I know this is a middle school curriculum, but in many places (especially in urban centers, with high proportion of under-represented populations) schools are K-8. While instructional time for science is often less of a problem in middle grades than in K-5--it still can be less than optimal. Interdisciplinary programs/curricula can help with this issue, and I am wondering if you are looking at instructional time in science in middle (and lower) grades as a possible impact?

     
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    Elizabeth Wright
  • Icon for: Elizabeth Wright

    Elizabeth Wright

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 11:09 p.m.

    Hi Rachel, thanks for engaging in the work (see what I did there?)!

     

    We're using a number of metrics as evidence of engagement: student self-report (what they say/write about their experiences during and after camp), capture of student behaviors/exchanges, student responses on pre/post-camp surveys, and one-on-one interviews. We also are following a majority of our campers (n = 100) over the next ten years as they navigate middle school, high school, and college. We also administered pre/post tests to identify uptake of information.

     

    The curriculum in its current form is written at a 6th grade level, for implementation with middle schoolers. It can be implemented in pieces, or as a whole, by a single instructor or many. The curriculum, as a document, is available in three formats on the fyrclassroom.org website: as a Word document (so that teachers can modify to best meet the needs of their students), as a PDF (so that teachers can implement it as-is), and as an annotated PDF (including implementation notes for teachers/parents/informal instructors). Moving forward we would love to modify the curriculum for younger scientists (K-5), as well as older ones (9-12). I would especially love to see younger kids engage with this material; I think they would love it! Aditi Pai at Spelman (apai@spelman.edu) has developed an undergraduate curriculum for implementation in higher education.

     

    I'll address your second post separately!

  • Icon for: Rachel Shefner

    Rachel Shefner

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2018 | 09:10 a.m.

    Thanks, Elizabeth! 10 years of follow-up is amazing! Your answer to this and my other question makes me wonder if you have teacher professional development (in addition to providing the curriculum) attached to this. The kinds of responses you describe with respect to handling difficult discoveries may not be in the wheelhouse of some teachers. Have your teacher focus groups pointed toward the need for some professional development, be it web-based or someone to contact if they require some advice? I think that if you do modify the curriculum for K-5 professional development may really be important.

     
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    Elizabeth Wright
  • Icon for: Elizabeth Wright

    Elizabeth Wright

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 08:32 a.m.

    Yes! I am very excited (and on occasion overwhelmed!) for the opportunity to stay in touch with our young scientists as they move through school.

     

    Our pilot year was 2016, and we implemented more broadly last summer. We're in the process of conducting some teacher focus groups and we'll make decisions about PD from there! I'd LOVE to get into the PK-5 arena because, even though that age-group is not in the sphere of my expertise, I know enough to know that PK-5 teachers are asked to do SO much that it's hard for them to be cross-curricular content experts with all the time in the world to develop science units that are rigorous and anchored to science as phenomena. In the meantime, I welcome teachers to reach out to me. In fact, my cell phone number is readily available on our webpage (fyrclassroom.org)! It's hard to do this alone.

  • Icon for: Rachel Shefner

    Rachel Shefner

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 02:17 p.m.

    I am also thinking about the question you posed about working with students under age 18 and the kinds of information they may obtain from this work. Do you get parental consent prior to participation? Have you had any issues with parents having concerns/objections when certain types of information is uncovered? Do you have some any resources in your back pocket that you can pull out if a student does find something very difficult to handle? How does your experience in working with this age group using consumer DNA information point to some guidelines that other educators could use if they want to bring this into their classrooms?

     
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    Sarah Hampton
    Elizabeth Wright
  • Icon for: Elizabeth Wright

    Elizabeth Wright

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 11:31 p.m.

    Continuing...

     

    We most definitely obtained parent consent and student assent. Parents/guardians were always (always) in control of their camper's data. Our campers always maintained the right of refusal (if they didn't want to share/disclose any part of their personal data, then it wasn't shared). We have cultivated a set of Case Studies (DNA and genealogical data from real volunteers; only the names have been changed) for use when families decide they they would rather not use personal information. I say, for implementation in any classroom (formal or informal), parent/guardian consent is not negotiable. 

     

    As for navigating the discovery of difficult information: we worked very hard to narrow the scope of research (very focused selection of SNPs), but realized that there was no way to anticipate what a student would discover about their families while conducting genealogical research. Rather than have resources (we cultivated a few), we rather had a plan. In the event that a discovery was made, the parent/guardian would be notified and next steps would be determined together. By-and-large, this level of intervention was never necessary. Typically, if something was discovered (a great-great-great-great-grandparent was a gunslinger who shot someone, and it was in the newspaper!), the camper took a moment to wrap their head around the reality that, while this individual may be related, you are not responsible for their actions).

     

    We are in the process of conducting focus group work with teachers to see what resources they feel like they would need to have the best implementation possible. Honestly, sometimes it's a matter of sitting with a kid and saying "I hear you. This is hard to think about and make sense of, and I wish I had something better or more meaningful to say, but I have to settle for being here with you and feeling what you're feeling." That's pretty powerful too. We had a young man point to his genetic ancestry and say "The only reason I'm at all European is because some white guy raped one of my ancestors." And while one's instinct is to move as far away from that truth as possible, no one is served by avoidance. Healing can't happen if we bury our heads and hearts in the sand. One of our goals in writing the curriculum was to toe the line of comfortably uncomfortable. That's where growth happens. My advice to teachers would be, don't be afraid to be uncomfortable. 

     
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    Sarah Hampton
  • Icon for: Lesley Markham

    Lesley Markham

    Informal Educator
    May 15, 2018 | 02:50 p.m.

     Thank you for posting this video! It's fascinating and I love the way that it uses readily available kits for use by middle school aged youth. This type of camp probably wouldn't have been possible even five years ago! I am intrigued to see how you handle the difficult information as Rachel asks above. Thanks!

     

     
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    Elizabeth Wright
  • Icon for: Elizabeth Wright

    Elizabeth Wright

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 11:33 p.m.

    Hi Lesley, 

     

    Feel free to ask follow-up questions after you read what I wrote in response to Rachel's questions.  Thanks for jumping in!

  • May 16, 2018 | 09:58 a.m.

    First, this is an awesome project! Great job!

    I have some questions about how you recruited your subjects. Were they from the same geographic area? Was it a day camp or an overnight camp? How many days/weeks did the camp run? Did students have to apply or pay a fee? 

    Thanks!
    -Trudi ~:)

     
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    Elizabeth Wright
  • Icon for: Elizabeth Wright

    Elizabeth Wright

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 08:41 a.m.

    Hi Trudi, thanks for stopping by!

     

    During our pilot camps we were pretty local. For the implementation last summer, two of our sites recruited locally and one site recruited from along the Eastern seaboard, primarily because we had resources (housing, counselors, money) that made having residential campers a possibility. For the "treatment" and "control" camps, half of our campers came from Atlanta, Virginia, New York, and throughout Pennsylvania. 

     

    The camp ran 9-4, Monday through Friday, for two full weeks. That said, we took many breaks, a lengthy lunch, and pool days!

     

    Campers did apply (I'd be happy to share our application with you, if it would be helpful), and were asked - but not required - to pay the $100 registration fee to the camp that hosted us. All camp and residential fees were covered by our grant.

     
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    Trudi Lord
  • Icon for: Sarah Hampton

    Sarah Hampton

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2018 | 03:12 p.m.

    I really enjoyed your video and the thoughtful commentary! I can see how this would be a powerful way for students to learn about genetics and anthropology. Several years ago, my husband and I were visiting Europe and found a tiny library in Southampton, England with information about my husband's ancestors. The old buildings, geography, and history of the town came alive for us after that!

     

    I could also see this curriculum benefitting character education programs as students think about who they are and who others are in multiple ways. You referenced NGSS, so do you see science class as being the most natural fit for implemeting this curriculum? Thank you for sharing!

     
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    Elizabeth Wright
  • Icon for: Elizabeth Wright

    Elizabeth Wright

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 08:50 a.m.

    Hi Sarah, thank you for sharing your experience! It's something else, isn't it? I still have very deep feelings about the day I saw the image of my grandfather's name on the ship's manifest, and a picture of the ship. My life is easy in comparison!

     

    My dream is that a group of teachers from within the same school would endeavor to implement it together. Not only would that share the burden (there's a lot to cover in this tome!), but it would organically show kids that science doesn't happen in only room 108. Science happens in the gym and art class. ELA happens in Science and Math and History, and so on. For that reason I attempted to (begin) tracking overlap of the curriculum for Math and ELA common core standards.

     

    I don't want teachers to think I'm asking them to do more work. I want teachers to see this as seamless, and an opportunity to simultaneously meet the standards, provide space for kids to get to know themselves in a genetic and genealogical landscape, and learn about their students deeply and authentically. We have a ton of research that shows us that kids learn best when they feel connected to the curriculum and they feel that it is relevant to them. But what is relevant? You have to know kids well in order to answer that question, and then move forward. 

     
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    Sarah Hampton
  • Icon for: Sarah Hampton

    Sarah Hampton

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2018 | 09:59 a.m.

    Yes!!! I am working in our school to tear down the walls between content areas and truly promote integrative STEAM. We don't engage with anything in life that way, so we do we teach that way? Thank you for sharing your work and the thoughts behind your work with us!

     
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    Elizabeth Wright
  • Icon for: Kristina Yu

    Kristina Yu

    Informal Educator
    May 17, 2018 | 09:24 a.m.

    Hi Elizabeth - thank you and your team for the great video and thoughtful project.  I was wondering how your team helps the students navigate their conceptions of race versus ancestry.  Both are so important for one's identity, but seem to be frequently confounded.  

     
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    Elizabeth Wright
    Brandon Ogbunu
    Sarah Hampton
  • Icon for: Brandon Ogbunu

    Brandon Ogbunu

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 02:44 p.m.


    Thank you for your thoughtful question. Dr. Elizabeth Wright will certainly have thoughts on this, but I thought that I might chime in based on some classroom experiences while teaching the Finding Your Roots camp. My name is C. Brandon Ogbunu, one of the instructors on the project.

    You correctly highlight that race is an extremely important and sensitive topic, and one that must be navigated carefully in conversations about ancestry.  On one end, we don’t want to ignore its social importance and implications. On the other, we do not want to conflate the social/arbitrary with the fixed/biological.  This isn’t easy, even among professional geneticists! (I’m a basic scientist who studies genetics, and find myself having related discussions with my peers)

    With regards to young people, there are several strategies for how one can engage this. We took several approaches, all of which touched the issue in different ways:

    1) One of the central messages of the larger project was that our identities are the productive of the “genetic, genealogical and intentional selves.” This was the brainchild of Dr. Elizabeth Wright, and was an extremely effective way of anchoring controversial discussions about identity.  We aren’t any one of these three “selves”, but the product of all of them, playing out in different ways.

    I mention this in response to your question because navigating conversations about race is often facilitated by the way the “table is set” with regards to how we think about identity in general.  The race conversation, then, becomes an extension of conversations about identity, with some very specific and important differences.  (Another example is the adoption conversation, which has been explored in this forum)

    2) One way to discuss race is to re-frame it in terms of "genetic variation within the human population," and to demystify the differences that have such strong social importance.  For example: a lot of race (as we’ve defined it socially) is about physical characteristics such as skin color.  We addressed this by having a detailed conversation about the genetics, evolution and biology of skin color. We are grateful to have a pioneer on the topic (Dr. Nina Jablonski) as one of the founders of this project.  The in-class student discussion was lead by Penn State PhD candidate Tina Lasisi, who did a masterful job deconstructing the biology and evolution of skin color differences.  The students really liked this experience.  The goal of this exercise is to communicate that variation is a feature of any population of organisms, and that variation often manifests in physical traits.  Skin color happens to be one of them.

    (Note that one doesn't have to be a practicing biological anthropologist to have or lead this discussion. We simply leveraged the expertise of the people who were nearby)

    2) Relatedly: In class, I often tried to use examples that turn our common understanding of race on its head, challenging students to think differently about these categories. One example is the phenotypic similarity between two largely unrelated ancestral groups: individuals of aboriginal Australian ancestry and individuals of sub-Saharan African ancestry.  In this situation, “ancestry” as we commonly understand it and “race” don’t overlap, which reveals how arbitrary and imprecise racial categories can be.

    3) Lastly, how do we drive these things home while paying full and proper attention to race as a social category (and it’s profound implications in the modern world)?  This is an area that I continue to learn about, try to improve on, and don’t have all of the answers to. (so by all means, share your experiences and pointers!)   

    The way that I currently think about it is this: If we can soften the hard brackets around the notion that people fall into fixed biological categories, then the social conversation about race (that many students are experiencing first hand, in life) becomes easier to discuss.

    For example: the problem that I experienced as a young African-American boy was that I actually felt different. Not only in terms of my social understanding of the experiences of some populations vs. others, but because of an unfortunate sense of essential difference. 

    My goal, as an educator (and practicing basic geneticist), is to chip away at the essential part of this (mis)understanding: to recognize that humans can differ in many ways, that variation is part of who we are as a species, and that we can decide to do something about the ways that we treat each other.

    Just a few thoughts! Thank you for the question!

     
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    Elizabeth Wright
    Lindsay Fulton
    Rachel Shefner
    Sarah Hampton
  • Icon for: Elizabeth Wright

    Elizabeth Wright

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 11:29 p.m.

    Not that I want to toot the horn of our own team, but Brandon’s response is as good as it gets. I’m gonna go read it again..

  • Icon for: eb

    eb

    K-12 Teacher
    May 19, 2018 | 12:44 a.m.

    So the issue of race is addressed only from a biological perspective, while the socio-economic aspects of race and how it plays out, is simply not addressed at all?  If that is the case, then how is this handled when such a situation is brought up by a child that has experienced or witnessed racial name-calling, being maligned or mistreated, and bullied because of their race?

     
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    Elizabeth Wright
  • Icon for: Elizabeth Wright

    Elizabeth Wright

    Lead Presenter
    May 19, 2018 | 12:59 a.m.

    Hi eb,

     

    I’m exhausted and I have a long day today and tomorrow, but I didn’t want to wait to respond to your concern. 

     

    We absolutely acknowledge that race and skin color are very real, very lived experiences. In fact, the framing of the curriculum around who we are genetically, genealogically/socioculturally and intentionally, invites students to think very critically about the genetic reality of a trait and its lived experience. The fact (The. Fact.) that the color of ones skin does absolutely nothing to impart social value has not stopped the dominant culture from oppressing others. We can’t go back in time to disrupt that narrative. We can, however, work to disrupt the narrative now by acknowledging it, listening to the experiences of those who are being harmed by it, and acting to do what we can to end it. 

     

    I’m happy to continue this conversation, but for now I must sleep. 

     

    Thanks for for pushing us to better explain our work. 

     

    ~Biz

  • Icon for: eb

    eb

    K-12 Teacher
    May 19, 2018 | 02:17 a.m.

    I appreciate you taking the time to pause and answer my question, before going to bed and getting ready for a busy day; however I have two burning questions: 1) Do you think a program or project such as this, can be implemented and be just as effective and successful, in a school district in which the 90% of administration, teachers and staff are Caucasian, and 60% of the students are ethnic minority.  2) Would you advise that all that would like to be involved -particularly the parents, are first given an introduction to how race will be viewed -primarily by its biology, and the framing of the curriculum will be around who we are genetically, genealogically/socioculturally and intentionally" Please explain further what is mean by this statement -especially the word "intentionally"  
    (Wikipedia provides a definition for intentionally, as the name of an outstanding Florida, racehorse.)

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