On a Monday in August of 2018, I stood outside with a colleague as she remarked, “Some faculty may not try to understand the innovation and some will take years to process what you are doing with students. As faculty with 30+ years of experience, it pleases me to be in the audience watching the process unfold. You are living and creating the future.”
The experience of “chronicling” social justice during SOCI 399: Social Chronicles has been a personal and political process. The teaching experience in a synchronous online setting was a partnership including moments that were spiritually vibrant and empowering beyond description. The music, symbols, and sociological imagination imposed upon us all allowed each student and faculty member to connect the past, present, and future to a goal of service.
The synchronous classroom space spawned conscious and unconscious growth for all participants. The students and faculty engaged learning simultaneously as the unique service experiences and missions at the Life Enrichment Center and Immanuel’s House pushed us all to seek justice and take learning to the next level. The lighting and backgrounds for each participant created a classroom space that was personalized and comfortable. The conversations were also multidimensional and academically powerful. Similarly, the effect of proximity via our faces, expressions, and sentiment in the online setting was equally remarkable.
No ideas went unnoticed. The presence of each participant was known, and afterward, it was missed. While the course was packed with layers of social activity, social experiments, and several digital tools to master, the final product was none other than a heightened love and respect for communities. Learning with a social and centered purpose of giving made each lesson worth remembering.
I remember most the transparency and willingness to explore content that was traditionally uncomfortable. We capitalized on life’s challenges rather than being defeated by them, and focused on success. Although I can still almost taste my tears and my heart still beats in the rhythm of pain encountered by my peers and community, I am empowered by the social justice-oriented course outcomes. The “Social Chronicles” course has left us with energy we need to make a difference. Spread the word to educators: “chase new visions and layer pedagogies in ways that make learning fun, creative, and memorable.” #lovecoplacdigital
Shared experiences in real time,
More alike than different.
Aligned roots and identities,
Focused with a clear view.
Quality support with a healthy foundation,
Capturing interactions and creating new relationships.
Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic