African American class talks to Dr. Brahnham

In the newly added African American experience class that was added to one of the many elective programs here in Spring Valley, they’ve done something that nobody else had done  Mr. Hyles has a very well planned out agenda, for the students have taken a great interest in the new class. Hyles will show them the roots of African American men and women. Recently in the class, they had an opportunity  to talk to Dr. Charles Branham, which Hyles had prepared the previous class.

“Dr. Branham is recognized nationally for his engagement in African American issues, especially in Chicago, and he’s been teaching at the University of Chicago for a long time.” Hyles said.

At the beginning of the class, both classes were crammed into the room and waited patiently for  Dr. Branham to call in.

 Mr. Hyles wants his students to understand the importance of being able to ask intellectual questions and to think outside the box.

“I wanted to expose my students to and expert, an authority higher than mine as a teacher and what  I bring to the table.” Said Hyles.

As he went on to explain, the purpose of the experience was to expose students to a higher level of learning than what he can show them. As to why he thought it was beneficial for students to experience  this, he said” One of the traps of a class like this is that the students will only get the perspective of the teacher, the one dominate perspective and guides the course throughout the year. And often-times there is gonna be bias, and which I like to bring other voices into the class as well.”  

 Throughout the class, many questions were asked and in return, Dr.Branham had a complete response for every single one.

“He talked a lot but it was pretty interesting what he was saying, I didn’t know a lot of the stuff he told us.” Amari said.

Afterwards, Hyles exclaimed,”When we exchanged emails he said that the thing that was impressive was the caliber of questions that were asked by the students, which I think was a good thing for him to recognize and catch because we have been working on writing better questions.” 

Finally, Mr. Hyles was asked if he thought that his class has improved his  students’ intellectual thinking.

“That’s a hard question for me to answer, one my own biases would like to say yes quickly of course but I would need resources to see if it’s actually working. But I don’t want to assume, I just want to keep pushing and challenging the students.” said Hyles.