Middle School Equity & Inclusion

Instructor Name: 
Sam Gioia
Course Description: 

Middle School Equity & Inclusion is a hybridized capstone offered each Summer.  Through text and community engagement PSU students will observe and reflect on race, language, and class privilege as they are encountered by immigrant children and their families.


Online reading and discussion will orient students to the context of language, culture, and English language learning.  The classroom discussion will explore the role of race in each of our lives along with reflections on the role of race in education.  Students should expect to talk personally in class about their experiences of their own race and construct a racial autobiography by the end of the term.  The PSU classroom will use the format of "Courageous Conversations about Race", the preferred cultural competency training for Portland Public Schools.


The community-based learning will be classroom assistance in Beaverton School District' s summer program for multilingual youth.  Capstone students will support classroom teachers one day per week at Meadow Park Middle School one day per week, from 8am to 1pm, for five weeks (June 24-July 25, M-Th only).  Alternate classroom times later in the afternoons with high school students may be arranged.  Two credits of Reading & Conference will be offered for students who wish to assist a second day per week at the middle school.

PSU classroom will offer students additional information and opportunity to compare observations on Thursdays from 2:15 to 4:45 from June 27 to August 8.  Summer Program orientation will be June 20 from 9:30am to 11:30am.  It is beneficial for Capstone students to attend the 6/20 meeting to understand the Summer Program and coordinate with their teacher.


This course will provide powerful background knowledge for students majoring in the Social Sciences, Gender and Ethnic Studies, as well a pre-professional programs such as Child & Family Studies, Social Work, Speech & Hearing, Law, and Health Occupations.

To engage in this capstone students must register for the course and submit to Beaverton School District a volunteer application and background check by June 1.  Students may not be able to complete the capstone without passing the background check.

Project Description: 

Students will complete all assignments and actively engage in classroom discussions.  Students must read the "Capstone Student Handbook" and abide by all of the policies noted therein.  Students will abide by the volunteer policies of Beaverton School District.  Since the community engagement is brief, but essential, absences from the community experience must be rescheduled during the four weeks of the Summer Program.  Students will develop their observations of the experience and present these conclusions to the community partner at the end of the term.