Culturally Inclusive, Place-based Learning

Bunker Hill Community College is grounding curriculum in the rich culture of Boston’s local communities to support the success of its diverse student population. A culturally responsive approach is rooted in a firm belief in the capacity of all students to success and values students' experiences, prior knowledge, and cultural identities as strengths rather than deficiencies (Harper, 2012; Solórzano & Yosso, 2001).

In this spirit, the College recently deepened its long-standing partnership with the Museum of African American History. In 2014-2015, two Faculty Summer Institutes brought together Bunker Hill and Roxbury Community College faculty with Boston Public School teachers for four-day immersion programs in African American history presented by the Museum. The Institutes convey a picture of the African-American past that counters a common portrayal of Black people solely as victims. Black communities like Boston’s reveal not just an ability to endure hardship, but the capacity to build institutions that support community life and promote social change. From September 2014 to April 2015, 30 Bunker Hill Community College faculty integrated Museum resources and scholarship into their courses and 18 class tours introduced 337 BHCC students to the Museum.

With the support of a three-year National Endowment for the Humanities Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges grant, the College is also collaborating with the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Asian American Studies Program to integrate Asian American cultures, histories, and communities into humanities-based learning communities. In June 2014, UMass Boston Asian American Studies Program Director Dr. Peter Kiang facilitated the first Bridging Cultures Summer Institute, laying the groundwork for the integration of Asian American content into 10 humanities courses in 2014-2015.

ID 14635

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