Chatters sees change in participating students

Jim Carlson
June 02, 2020

Along with being director of equity and inclusivity in the State College Area School District (SCASD) and an adjunct associate professor in the College of Education, Seria Chatters has two sons in the district who participated in the Bridging Divides class that toured three historic cities in Alabama.

“The exciting yet nerve-wracking part of it is that their course, for the first time, is really teaching students, students of color included, about this part of history that they are not really learning in any other courses,” Chatters said.

“With my two boys being black boys, they got this opportunity not only to learn about the history, but then with us traveling to Alabama, to live the history. My great grandparents are from Alabama.”

Chatters said the educational trip was emotionally exhausting for the students, but noted that students who have gone through this course have expressed interest in careers in social justice, teaching, law and policy.

“In these collaboratives, professors get to see the real-world impact of research-based methodology and pedagogy, while teachers get real-time support of leaders in the field. I can see a research/practice partnership being set up that supports many surrounding school districts in their equity efforts while providing real-time feedback for researchers at Penn State,” Chatters said.

The social studies curriculum at SCASD is in a cycle to be revamped and the district incorporated the Teaching Tolerance organization’s established social justice standards along with PA and C3 (college, career and civic life framework) standards. “We are working to get social justice education across the district,” she said, noting that she is confident that goals for infusing an equity-based orientation will be met.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 03, 2020