Re-visualizing Care: Teachers' Invisible Labor in Neoliberal times
This research takes up the topic of teacher evaluation in a moment of moral panic about “bad teachers,” public controversy over Value- Added Measures (VAM) of teacher work, and the widespread implementation of new assessment policies under Race to the Top (RTTT). Working with a group of ten progressive New York City public school teachers in the first year of one such policy (known as “Advance”), my multimodal study engages a wide variety of qualitative and arts-based research methods to explore teachers’ experiences of “Advance,” their broader reflections on practice, and the substantial work they do that is not captured by evaluation metrics.
My research shines a light on teachers’ invisible carework expanding our imagination of teacher labor, and calling out the mismatch between white, middle-class expectations and the actual demands placed on urban teachers. Bringing forward the unequal distribution of teachers’ caring burdens and responsibilities across race/ class/ gender/ culture/ and language in urban schools, this research highlights teachers’ carework as a significant (and under-researched) site for the social reproduction of school inequality. And my use of digital and visual methodologies in the print document and companion digital assemblage, works to record and make visible the invisible work of teaching, thereby breaking through currently accepted quantitative images to see students, teachers and schools in their full humanity.
Looking Back (Research Assistant)
Looking Back is the follow up to Wendy Luttrell’s participatory visual ethnography: Children Framing Childhoods. This longitudinal study follows a group of 36 students (and later a smaller sub-sample) from ages 10-18 and traces the multiple meanings they attach to their images over time. As a research assistant, I met with youth participants, facilitated small group interviews, and conducted preliminary data analysis. Later, I worked with Luttrell and Ortiz to develop and facilitate a series of focus groups entitled, Engaging the Archive, aimed at using the study’s visual archive for teacher preparation.