This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education by Jose Vilson

This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and EducationThis Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education by Jose Vilson

I had the privilege to interview Jose Vilson in 2015 the first time I read his book.  This is the second time I’ve read this book and like any great book I learned new things each time. Same words, different me, I guess. The first time through I was interested in the systemic nature of race and class barriers in education. Now I’m interested in how classrooms can be more culturally responsive and how teachers can develop better relationships with students. Each time, Jose’s words have given me pause for thought on these topics.

Jose’s unique perspective, as someone who identifies with more than one cultural community and who is a teacher in an urban setting, is very touching. There are very human things that this teacher talks about but he also doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations. I also hope it is a new narrative….that the radical transparency that Vilson displays here in his book becomes contagious, infecting North America with revolutionary diversity. If you want to hear more perspectives check out the book club run by TVO on this book: https://www.teachontario.ca/community…

Interview part 1: https://youtu.be/tAQQcuV-iOA

Interview part 2: https://youtu.be/nI65X3-oG3o

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#BIT15Reads: Interview with author Jose Luis Vilson

Bright and early Sunday morning at 10 am EST (we changed the clocks back an hour in Ontario), author Jose Luis Vilson joins me to talk about his book This is not a test: A new narrative on race, class and education.

Taking a moment to reflect on Jose’s work and how he described it in person this morning here are some of my takeaways:

  • public education as it exists now is a band-aid approach.  We need to get better at predicting inequities and solving them before they happen
  • blogging is an amazing tool for personal and professional reflection….the act of formalizing my thoughts has lead me to experiment in greater ways….it was nice hearing that Jose’s approach to writing began as writing for himself and to connect to his community for support
  • the internet is amplifying inequities rather than solving them. This is a constant source of disappointment and frustration for me.
  • our students may struggle with digital literacies long term but the immediate need is to solve inequities through strong pedagogy first
  • the government, across North America, needs to invest in equity and renew efforts to see students as change agents by giving them voice and agency

If you’re following along, you’ll know that Jose and I just lost our connection.  I had to start a fresh hangout.  Here it is now:

I will make an effort soon to edit that together to make it less disjointed.