Resources for College Practitioners

Equitable Teaching Practices with Dr. Dayamudra Dennehy



Learn how kindness translates into equitable teaching practices.

In this episode, I interview Dr. Dayamudra Dennehy, ESL Faculty & Distance Education Coordinator at City College of San Francisco.

(Scroll down to access the transcript.)

We cover the following key topics:

5:39:75: ChatGP/AI and the relationship with teaching & learning.

14:08:50: Assessing student learning.

18:33:00:  Trust and kindness toward students matters.

35:23:25: The value that teachers bring vs AI, YouTube, etc.

39:14:75: Practical tips for faculty.

Resource: Dr. Dayamudra Dennehy's ChatGPT Resources Page 

Select Dr. Dayamudra Dennehy's episode quotes:
"If we want students to just spit back the information that we give them, if we see the student as an empty glass to use the Paolo Freire pedagogy, and we're just filling them up with water, then that's not really critical thinking. We want the students to be able to connect what we're learning in class with their own experiences, so the more opportunities they get to do that, the more meaningful the learning will be and the harder it is going to be to use these AI tools."

"Students need to be included in the AI conversations. Everything I'm following on Twitter are classroom teachers and tech people, but you really don't hear student voices about AI. I would love to see more panels that include students and their perspectives because I feel that's missing from the AI conversations."
"The way that we assess students, it's very individual, it's timed. If we're training them for the real world, the outcomes that they create at their jobs are going to be much more fluid than that. They're going to involve collaboration. They're going to be done in iterations. They're going to be done over time. And so how are we training students for real world outcomes, which will include AI tools? So if we ban students from using AI tools, we're not actually preparing them for the jobs. If we don't, then that's inequity."
 "I think we should question some of these surveillance tools and the ethics of those. They're not always accurate. They create false negatives and false positives. Rather than having this cat and mouse game and being so committed to catching students cheating, using that deficit thinking, think about how are we really designing our learning and our assessments, and really building relationships with students. See students as equals rather than inferiors."

"When my students come to me and say, "I've had a really hard week and this happened and that happened, can I have an extra week?" The first thing I always say is, "I'm so proud of you for advocating for yourself."

"If someone says to me, my grandmother died, I don't need the death certificate. If you say you're in the hospital, I don't need the doctor's note. I trust you. And if maybe you just had a bad week, why can't we be flexible? In my field the work builds. So if you don't do week one, then it's hard to go on to week two. But again, it's not that you're bad and I need to shame you, but this is the way the learning process is. If you need more time, let's negotiate it. Let's have a communication. This is a communication class, so let's communicate about it. But honestly, so many students are so fearful to even ask because they've been so shamed. Why do we have to talk to students like that? I do wonder who taught us to come in and be like, "I'm not going to take any crap from my students!" Why do we do that? It just kills the love and the joy."

About Dr. Dayamudra Dennehy
Dr. Dayamudra Dennehy, is an ESL tenured faculty at City College of San Francisco. She’s active in a network of California community college educators, and serves as her college's Distance Education Coordinator. Dayamudra founded an educational non-profit organization, collaborating with an India-based team to launch an alternative leadership academy and educational residence, serving caste-oppressed students in south India who have dropped out of high school. Dayamudra was ordained as a Buddhist on a mountaintop in Spain and has taught meditation and yoga workshops around the world. She earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership, with a focus on Equity and Social Justice.

About Dr. Al Solano
Al is Founder & Coach at the Continuous Learning Institute. A big believer in kindness, he helps institutions of higher education to plan and implement homegrown practices to improve student success and equity by coaching them through a process based on what he calls the "Three Cs": Clarity, Coherence, Consensus. In addition, his bite-sized, practitioner-based articles on student success strategies, institutional planning & implementation, and educational leadership are implemented at institutions across the country. He has worked directly with over 50 colleges and universities and has trained well over 5,000 educators. He has coached colleges for over a decade, worked at two community colleges, and began his education career in K12. He earned a doctorate in education from UCLA, and is a proud community college student who transferred to Cornell University.

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