Series of talks sponsored by C&T in October: 10/12 with Elsie Rockwell

  • Developing Yoltocah: A Collaborative Project with Multi-Grade Teachers in Mexico, with Elsie Rockwell, Thursday, 10/12, 4-5pm, 306 Russell

“During 2016, in collaboration with Valeria Rebolledo Angulo, I led a team of 15 coauthors in producing a book based on the experience of a 120 hrs. workshop with 180 multi-grade rural teachers (grades K-9 and Special Ed.) to explore ways to teach groups of students of different grade levels by working on a common topic (in Math and Language) with activities allowing increasing complexity. I will first give an overview of the political context and current educational reform of México, which has proposed consolidating rural multi-grade schools. This situation led us to invest much time in both the workshop and the production of the book. I will then describe the way we proceeded to combine teaching activities proposed by participants with knowledge of content-specific didactics in developing the 20 activities developed in Yoltocah. This title is a Nahuatl term meaning ‘to follow the heart’.”


Dr. Elsie Rockwell is Edward Larocque Tinker Visiting Professor in Teachers College’s Department of International and Transcultural Studies during the fall term of 2017, and has been a Faculty member at the Department of Educational Research of the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Mexico since 1975. Trained in history and anthropology, she has focused her studies on the history of schooling and state formation, school cultures, and the literacy/orality matrix both within classrooms and in communities and has advised over 30 graduate students in these lines of research. Rockwell has participated in several international networks and conferences, and has published academic articles and chapters in several languages. Her books include Hacer escuela, hacer Estado: La educación posrevolucionaria vista desde Tlaxcala (Colegio de Michoacán, 2007), La experiencia etnográfica: cultura e historia en los procesos educativos (Paidós, 2009), and Comparing Ethnographies, Local Studies of Education Across the Americas, co-edited with Kathryn Anderson-Levitt (AERA, 2017). Rockwell received the INAH Clavijero Award in 2008, the CAE-AAA George and Louise Spindler Award in 2013 (shared with Hervé Varenne). Throughout her academic career she has also been active in working with elementary teachers and producing materials for alternative school projects in rural and indigenous regions of México, including the Dialogar y Descubrir series (Conafe, 1988-1992), as well as Yoltocah, Estrategias Didácticas Multigrado (Tlaxcala, 2017).