A well-timed project: PSU partners on anti-bias education film

John Nimmo is working on an anti-bias film with colleague Debbie LeeKeenan. Photo courtesy of Nimmo

By Jillian Daley

The early 2021 release date of Portland State Associate Professor John Nimmo and colleague Debbie LeeKeenan’s anti-bias education film seems so perfectly in line with the current cultural shift that they couldn’t have planned it better had they tried.

In a way, it’s no coincidence. Advancing equity and eliminating discrimination are Nimmo and LeeKeenan’s longtime passions, so it’s no surprise that their voices should be among those crying out for change. It just happens that more people may be paying attention right now. By the end of this year, filming should be a wrap on Reflecting on Anti-Bias Education in Practice, which will feature an analysis of anti-bias strategies in early childhood classrooms. What’s different about this film is its direct focus on teachers’ own reflections, rather than solely relying upon experts and research. This offers crucial insight into the complexities of practicing anti-bias teaching in real-life settings.

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Teaching from Home, Part 1: Parents learning how to teach their own kids

Photo of students at Saigon Kids Early Childhood Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, which is now doing remote learning. Photo by PSU graduate student Elsa Sahruddin, a teacher Saigon Kids Early Childhood Centre

By Jillian Daley

About the Series: Gov. Kate Brown has mandated that Oregonians stay home and that schools stay closed for the rest of the academic year to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In response, the Oregon Department of Education has required school districts to quickly put distance learning plans in place. To help parents, educators and anyone who supports school-age kids power through to the end of the school year, Portland State University College of Education is running a six-part series, Teaching from Home. We’ll begin with general advice for those who are now doubling as a teacher and a parent and share specific tips for teaching children with special needs and students at different ages. Look for Parts 2-6 next week! 

Saddled with a COVID-19 quarantine and devising ways to occupy students who aren’t in school or daycare and must learn remotely, many parents began tapping online schools and resources such as Oregon Connections Academy. Others sought at-home opportunities and waited for schools to publish lessons online. Still, while parents may be their children’s first teachers, most of them are not trained professionals. Many more may know a little something about educating, but are unaccustomed to all of this online learning.

Luckily, Portland State University College of Education (COE) experts are here to help, including faculty members Hollie Hix-Small, Ph.D., and John Nimmo, Ed.D. 

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