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SPCL Department | Brooklyn College Library

SPCL 7931T Practicum in School Psychology and Counseling I

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How to Watch Documentary

Race - the power of an illusion cover

Race: Power of an Illusion, a powerful documentary made in 2003, to provide some context and background on the current BLM/antiracism movement. We encourage you to post your questions and thoughts in the Discussion forum associated with each episode.

FYI: Instructions on setting up how you wish to view the documentary

  1. Go to App Store
  2. Download the "Kanopy: Thoughtful Entertainment" app
  3. Select "Get Started" button
  4. Select "Find University" button
  5. Type in: Brooklyn College Library
  6. Select "Brooklyn College Library"
  7. Select "Next" button
  8. You will now be sent to the Brooklyn College off-campus login page
  9. Login using your CUNYfirst Username and Password

You will now be able to watch this documentary on your preferred device.

Detailed Kanopy Instructions on downloading TV & mobile apps

Topic 1: Introduction: orientation to practicum

  1. Read: Practicum manual

Topic 2: Intro to field of school psychology; Race: Power of an Illusion series

  1. Read: Knoff Article
  2. Watch: Race: The Power of an Illusion (Episode One)

Topic 3: Appropriate activities for practicum students

  1. Watch: Race: The Power of an Illusion (Episode Two)

Topic 4: Understanding schools as systems; Interviewing school staff; Classroom observations

  1. Watch: Race: The Power of an Illusion (Episode Three)
  2. Due:  Practicum Plan

Assignment Due Date Schedule

School Colors is a narrative podcast from Brooklyn Deep about how race, class, and power shape American cities and schools.”

  • Based in Bed-Stuy’s district 16, this podcast gives history and personal narratives of schools in this area of Brooklyn.
  • Students will present individually or in pairs and sign up for one of the 10 School Colors podcasts to lead an online discussion on Blackboard.
  • On the Saturday prior to your episode due date, you will post on BB a brief summation of your thoughts and reflections on the episode, drawing from your own experiences.
  • Compare and contrast your perspectives if in a pair and present your personal reflections. For example, if you found it difficult to relate to the material, talk about why, and reflect on your own background, engaging in critical self-reflection.
  • Wrap up your summary with at least 4-5 thought-provoking questions for further discussion and analysis.
  • All other students are expected to review the posting once it has been submitted and comment on Blackboard about the podcast and the reflections posted prior to our discussion in class.
  • To be clear, once a student(s) posts their reflections on Saturday, you must comment on this on Blackboard prior to our upcoming Tuesday class and be ready to discuss in class.

Topic 5: Working with culturally diverse children & families; School crisis prevention and intervention

  1. Listen:  S1 E1: Old School - School Colors PodCast 1

Description: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn is one of the most iconic historically Black neighborhoods in the United States. But Bed-Stuy is changing. Fifty years ago, schools in Bed-Stuy's District 16 were so overcrowded that students went to school in shifts. Today, they're half-empty. Why? In trying to answer that question, we discovered that the biggest, oldest questions we have as a country about race, class, and power have been tested in the schools of Central Brooklyn for as long as there have been Black children here. And that's a long, long time. In this episode, we visit the site of a free Black settlement in Brooklyn founded in 1838; speak to one of the first Black principals in New York City; and find out why half a million students mobilized in support of school integration couldn’t force the Board of Education to produce a citywide plan.
Citation: Brooklyn Deep. (Sept. 2019.) S1, E1:Old School - School Colors PodCast (43:13). URL:

Topic 6: Prevention and preparedness models; Ensuring physical safety

  1. Listen: S1 E2:Power to the People - School Colors PodCast

Description: In the late 1960s, the Central Brooklyn neighborhood of Ocean Hill-Brownsville was at the center of a bold experiment in community control of public schools. But as Black and Puerto Rican parents in Ocean Hill-Brownsville tried to exercise power over their schools, they collided headfirst with the teachers’ union — leading to the longest teachers’ strike in American history, 51 years ago this fall. What started as a local pilot project turned into one of the most divisive racial confrontations ever witnessed in New York City. Ocean Hill-Brownsville made the national news for months, shattered political coalitions and created new ones, and fundamentally shaped the city we live in today. But as the strike shut down schools citywide, Ocean Hill-Brownsville mobilized to keep their schools open — and prove to the world that Black people could educate their own children and run their own institutions successfully. In the process, they inspired a particular brand of defiant, independent, and intensely proud Black activism that would define political life in Central Brooklyn for generations..
Citation: Brooklyn Deep. (Sept. 2019.) S1 E2:Power to the People - School Colors PodCast (54:04). URL:

Topic 7: Ensuring psychological safety

  1. Listen: S1 E3: Third Strike - School Colors PodCast
  2. Due: Logs/Journals

Description: In the fall of 1968, New York City teachers went on strike three times, in reaction to an experiment in community control of schools in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Brooklyn. The third strike was the longest, and the ugliest. The movement for community control tapped into a powerful desire among Black and brown people across New York City to educate their own. But the backlash was ferocious. The confrontation at Ocean Hill-Brownsville fractured the connection between teachers and families, between the labor movement and the civil rights movement, between Black and Jewish New Yorkers. Some of these wounds have never really healed. But as the strike dragged on for seven weeks, schools in Ocean Hill-Brownsville were open for business. And for many students there, the experience was life-changing.
Citation: Brooklyn Deep. (Oct. 2019.) S1, E3: Third Strike - School Colors PodCast (60:00). URL:

Topic 8: School safety teams

  1. Listen: School Colors podcast (Episode 4)

Description: In the wake of the 1968 teachers’ strikes, Black people in Central Brooklyn continued to fight for self-determination in education -- both inside and outside of the public school system. Some veterans of the community control movement started an independent school called Uhuru Sasa Shule, or "Freedom Now School," part of a pan-African cultural center called The East. Other Black educators tried to work within the new system of local school boards, despite serious flaws baked into the design. Both of these experiments in self-government struggled to thrive in a city that was literally crumbling all around them. But they have left a lasting mark on this community.
Citation: Brooklyn Deep. (Oct. 2019.) S1 E4: Agitate! Educate! Organize! - School Colors PodCast (56:48). URL:

Topic 9: School safety planning and training

  1. Listen: S1 E5: The Disappearing District - School Colors PodCast

Description: Since 2002, the number of students in Bed-Stuy’s District 16 has dropped by more than half. There’s no single reason why this is happening, but the year 2002 is a clue: that’s when Michael Bloomberg became the Mayor, abolished local school boards, and took over the New York City school system. In this episode, we’ll meet parents trying to reassert collective power and local accountability in District 16 after years of neglect from the Department of Education; parents trying to save their school from being closed for persistently low enrollment; and parents trying to do what they believe is best for their children by leaving the district altogether. In a Black community that has struggled for self-determination through education for nearly 200 years, what does self-determination look like today?
Citation: Brooklyn Deep. (Oct. 2019.) S1 E5: The Disappearing District - School Colors PodCast (59:32). URL:

Topic 10: School crisis response teams

  1. Listen: School Colors podcast (Episode 6)

Description: If you ask most people in Bed-Stuy’s District 16 why they think enrollment is falling, chances are they’ll point to charter schools: privately managed public schools, which have been on the rise in New York City for more than a decade. Charter schools were originally dreamed up to be laboratories for innovation in public education. Instead, many see them as a threat — competing with neighborhood schools for space, resources, and kids. Is this really a zero-sum game? In this episode, we talk to parents and educators on both sides of the district-charter divide to explore why charter schools seem especially polarizing in a Black neighborhood like Bed-Stuy, and what the growth of charter schools means for the future of this community.
Citation: Brooklyn Deep. (Nov. 2019.) S1 E6: Mo' Charters Mo' Problems - School Colors PodCast (59:18). URL:

Topic 11: Basic emergency operations plan

  1. Listen: S1 E7: New Kids on the Block - School Colors PodCast

Description: Gentrification is reshaping cities all over the country: more affluent people, often but not always white, are moving into historically Black and brown neighborhoods like Bedford-Stuyvesant. But even as the population of Bed-Stuy has been growing in numbers and wealth, the schools of District 16 have been starved for students and resources. That’s because a lot of people moving into the neighborhood either don’t have kids, or send their kids to school outside the district. In this episode, a group of parents who are new to Bed-Stuy try to organize their peers to enroll and invest in local schools, only to find that what looks like investment to some feels like colonization to others.
Citation: Brooklyn Deep. (Nov. 2019.) S1 E7: New Kids on the Block - School Colors PodCast (59:55). URL:

Topic 12: Preparation for threats and hazards

  1. Listen: School Colors podcast (Episode 8)

Description: Despite New York City's progressive self-image, our dirty secret is that we have one of the most deeply segregated school systems in the country. But with gentrification forcing the issue, school integration is back on the table for the first time in decades. How do we not totally screw it up? And what does this mean for the long struggle for Black self-determination in Central Brooklyn? We’ve spent a lot of time on the past. In this episode, we look to the future..
Citation: Brooklyn Deep. (Nov. 2019.) S1 E8: On the Move - School Colors PodCast (59:46). URL:

Extra School Colors Episodes (not required)

  1. Listen: School Colors podcast (Episode 9)
  2. Listen: School Colors podcast (Bonus Episode)

Description: In this bonus episode, recorded live at the Brooklyn Public Library, producers Mark Winston Griffith and Max Freedman talk with Christina Veiga, a reporter from Chalkbeat. They are joined by a special guest: NeQuan McLean, president of the Community Education Council for District 16. Their conversation digs deeper into some of the themes of the show, and pulls back the curtain on how Mark and Max created School Colors -- and where it's going next.
Citation: Brooklyn Deep. (Dec. 2019.) S1 Bonus: A Night at the Library - School Colors PodCast (1hr 14min). URL:

Description: Every month on the Third Rail podcast, Brooklyn Deep deconstructs hot topics and social justice issues that impact the lives of Central Brooklynites. In November, Third Rail featured a special behind-the-scenes look at the making of School Colors, Brooklyn Deep's most ambitious project to date. Producers Mark Winston Griffith and Max Freedman sat down with Anthonine Pierre, deputy director of the Brooklyn Movement Center. Together, they dive into the origin story of School Colors, how identity and interpersonal dynamics shaped they way they told this story, and their favorite moments from the podcast, on and off the air. Satisfy your inner School Colors geek with this episode, then subscribe to Third Rail for more hard-hitting conversations about important issues in this community.
Citation: Brooklyn Deep. (Jan. 2020) S1 Bonus: School Colors, Behind the Scenes.- School Colors PodCast (54:06). URL:

Topic 13: Preventing psychological trauma

Topic 14: Wrap-up meeting; summarize experiences