UCLA Researchers Look at Learning and Community During COVID-19 Pandemic

Article by Karen Hunter Quartz and Marisa Saunders of the UCLA Center for Community Schooling highlights efforts by teachers, students, and families.

Karen Hunter Quartz, director of the UCLA Center for Community Schooling, and Marisa Saunders, who serves as its associate director for research, have written an article for the Learning Policy Institute on “Community Schooling in the Time of COVID-19.”

In the article, Saunders and Hunter Quartz highlight the efforts of teachers, students, and their local communities at UCLA’s K-12 partnership schools to, “…understand and confront the structural inequalities they encounter each day—the very inequalities that are causing Black and Latino Californians to die of the coronavirus at disproportionate rates.

“To accomplish this, community school teachers work to create opportunities for engaged and rigorous learning rooted in the assets and needs of the community,” write Hunter Quartz and Saunders. “They build deep relationships with students—which is key to learning and development—but they also do much more. They construct curricula to develop students’ identified strengths and to equip students with the knowledge and skills to address problems facing their communities.”

Hunter Quartz and Saunders share the successes of projects at UCLA Community School and Mann UCLA Community School, including the Multilingual Interdisciplinary Social Action (MISA) unit, which has tackled topics like homelessness, gentrification, and climate change; the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color and the response of local students, teachers, and parents who have organized to work for justice in and beyond schools; a community-based science unit on waste and plastic pollution in South Los Angeles; and the Multigenerational Afterschool Arts (MASA) program.

To read, “Community Schooling in the Time of COVID-19,” visit this link.