Chem4All: An American Experience by Shobita Mampilly
I, the American/I, the middle-class/ I, the middle-class Catholic-American song/Indian from Indiana/What a confusion
I was born under Cherokee moon
Gypsy hip & pepper-tongue
Dig this slave slang orthodox
Unchecked by boxed definition
Dravidian queen between Caligula
Recessives, Columbus & The Christians
Came for my diamond field, got lost,
Then raped my sister instead
Where did all the Indians go?
Are you Black, Brown or Red?
All the pink ladies of all the kings’ men
rename my land to avoid epileptic tongue
Chennai, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram
Chennai Mumbai Thiruvananthapuram
Anglo evaporation equals degree of
Equatorial sun. I taste the salt of children
Swimming seven seas
Boys in The Bronx play tag with base
Contrary to poets of fantasy
I do not translate
I’ve spent twenty-seven years rotating through science classrooms around the globe. From public middle school in the Bronx to private international high schools in New Delhi, I’ve danced through Teacher Performance Assessments for decades. Today, I’m a 9th grade Earth Science & 12th grade Anatomy teacher in an independent school, synthesizing secondary science curriculum for students with learning disabilities . I want to create alternative pathways for New York City students interested in personal and community health careers, by radically deconstructing traditional STEM studies to create more equitable access to science-related careers.
As I enter academia through this Urban Education portal, I want to understand Jean Anyon’s comparative statistics tools as applied to my experience across school settings. In attempting to research the effects of polarized education paradigms in recent history, Educational sociologist Jane Anyon’s theoretical approach to defining social class through distinguishing working, middle, affluent professional and executive elite school curricula and design, serves as a tool to process how stratification occurs. Anyon asserts:
Differing curricular, pedagogical and pupil evaluation practices emphasise different cognitive and behavioral skills in each social setting, and thus contribute to the development in the children of certain potential relationships, to physical and symbolic capital, to authority, and to the process of work (1980).
By understanding the impact of these various approaches to learning in distinct social classes, a community-based approach is a better vehicle towards success upon graduation. I would especially like to navigate my own teaching experience as a comparative study across wealth, ideologies and national borders using Anyon’s approach to distill best practices in secondary science teaching. As a teacher, I’ve had to adapt to the system that I worked in . As a scholar, I want to filter methodologies and approaches to radically transform science education in communities most disenfranchised from America’s economy and educational access.