Students blog about their “Whitman Teaches the Movement” experiences
Wednesday, Feb 29, 2012
In January 2012, about 100 Whitman students served as volunteer “student teachers” in the Walla Walla Public School District.
Though most taught only one 45-minute lesson, the subject matter – teaching lessons on the civil rights era – made the experience immensely meaningful and offered mutual benefits to the K-12 students as well as the Whitman students.
Three of the Whitties, Shannon Morrissey ’12 from Minneapolis; Noah Lerner ’12 from Lake Forest Park, Wash.; and Allison Bolgiano ’14 from Issaquah, Wash., have contributed to a blog about the experience. It’s the blog for the Teaching Tolerance project, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which partnered with the college to develop Whitman Teaches the Movement (WTTM).
“The web site receives up to 350,000 hits per month, and about 100,000 people subscribe to the blog through RSS feeds, so there’s great potential for our students to share their experiences with a wide audience,” said Noah Leavitt, Whitman’s assistant dean for student engagement who directed the WTTM program for the college.
Below are excerpts; read all the blogs here: http://www.tolerance.org/blog/whitman-college-teaches-movement
Shannon Morrissey writes:
“I started by asking our seventh-graders, ‘Can you think of modern examples of women in power?’ Answers ranged from ‘Bill Clinton’s wife’ to ‘Kim Kardashian.’”
Noah Lerner writes:
“I worried students might have a problem understanding how society was once legally segregated, but they all understood that racial prejudice is a scary and lonely thing to experience.”
Allison Bolgiano writes:
“I sensed the conviction in their answers and saw that getting students talking about equality in relation to both history and their own lives is an effective way to make these complex topics tangible and relevant.”