Learning Experience #1 Essay

This week, myself along with the rest of Learning Circle 5 read the article “The Radical Supreme Court Decision That America Forgot” by Will Stancil and developed a lesson for the class based off of it. The author goes into detail regarding the Supreme Court case Green v. New Kent County that many people in America either haven’t heard of or are not as familiar with as the widely discussed Brown v. Board of Education. Brown v. Board of Education asserted that it is unconstitutional to deny children entrance into schools based on their race, while Green v. New Kent County embraced the notion that school desegregation was a reparative process.

The author took an informative approach in the writing of this article. While reading it, I felt that his approach was historical and informative, while agreeing with what Green implemented. The author also asserts that what Green did was impactful and informative, but there is still more to be done. He thoroughly explained each Supreme Court case and explained the similarities and differences between them, and what each case achieved and didn’t achieve. Stancil’s evidence was primarily based on historical facts from each case and the explaining the context of the time period. He also explained the reasoning behind the Green case and why the Supreme Court decided the way they did. He used a few statistics, like for example, mentioning that in the late 1960’s 90% of southern school districts were implementing the “freedom of choice” plan. He also pointed out that when the NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed the Green case, only 15% of black children in the county were now enrolled in the formerly all white elementary school.

I felt that the reading was extremely informative and purely factual, which is important when it comes to explaining something like a Supreme Court case. To give the readers a clear understanding of it, it is important to make it factual and unbiased, so I do not have any criticisms towards the article. While reading it, it did make me reflect on my own educational experiences regarding civil rights, since I never learned about this influential decision. I think that this particular decision should be included more in the civil rights discussions in classrooms because it played a major role in the movement. Brown v. Board of Education and Plessy v. Ferguson are very widely discussed Supreme Court decisions and I think that Green v. New Kent County should be added to the conversation.

For our Learning Experience lesson, our Learning Circle wanted to focus on starting the lesson by gathering the class’s thoughts on civil rights, refresh their memories on Brown v. Board of Education, and then teach them about Green v. New Kent County. We wanted to emphasize the similarities and differences between Brown and Green so that the class could get a better understanding on what Green did that Brown didn’t. We felt that them understanding the two decisions well were a very important part of our lesson. We secured this understanding by doing a few “Key Terms” slides to wrap up important terms from the lesson. Especially after my part, which was a mini lecture, I felt that doing “Key Terms” would be useful so that it could help summarize what I talked about and wrap it all up, while refreshing their memories on what they just learned. Through our gallery walk, we also wanted the students to see what their other classmates felt about the pictures around the room so that they could gain some new perspective from their fellow classmates.

As a group, we all collaborated together on what activities we felt would best engage the class. We also all worked together on what order we thought we should talk about things in so that the lesson would flow nicely. Individually, it was my job to really get a master understanding of the Supreme Court decisions since I was going to be lecturing on them. I read the article probably five times to ensure that I was getting a full grasp of what it was talking about. I then went on to define key terms from the article and best summarize the article in a clear and concise way that was interesting for the class to listen to. In teaching the lesson, my job was to explain Green v. New Kent County and its impacts to the class. Since all of us in our LC had never heard of this decision until we read the article, we assumed the majority of the class hadn’t either. My job was to explain this decision in a clear way that was still interesting and engaging. I also pulled key terms from the article and defined them to the class.

References for the lesson:

Stancil, William 2018. The Radical Supreme Court Decision That America Forgot. The Atlantic. 29 May 2018.

Google Slide Used During the Lesson Link:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1N6UZXRHsIyDMoOTgeQ3dTQ1EjcJhMnV6LOhz_bcqJko/edit#slide=id.g35f391192_00

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