Structuring Equality: Handbook for Student-Centered Learning - Collaborative Book Review

Structuring Equality: Handbook for Student-Centered Learning - Collaborative Book Review

Below, you will find the collaborative book reviews written by current HASTAC Scholars, about Structuring Equality: A Handbook for Student-Centered Learning and Teaching Practices, a collection of theoretical and practical essays written by graduate students for anyone interested in understanding why, where, and how to use engaged, active classroom practices.  Directed by HASTAC Scholar Christina Bosch in collaboration with HASTAC Scholars Director Kalle Westerling, the collaborative book review project provides chapter-by-chapter reviews of this book.

Structuring Equality is available free on, can be downloaded (also free) as a pdf, and can be purchased as a paperback on Amazon (currently available at an introductory price of $5.09).


Christina Bosch: The premise of Structuring Equality is that the pursuit of equity cannot rest on intentions alone; it must be buttressed by foundational systems, or structures, that shape and maintain it. The Handbook is about how to construct those supports, and it is actually a product of these exact sorts of constructive efforts. It was created in a class that sought to disrupt classroom hierarchies, and was the result of people acting in concert within structured equitable interactions. This more implicit insight from Structuring Equality is that the architecture of equity is built through inter-personal relationships grounded in a space that has been curated to be just.

Kalle Westerling: I could not be prouder to present the result of yet another of HASTAC’s famous collaborative book reviews (a project that started in 2012 and was repeated in 2014). This time around, the choice of a book was easy. The Graduate Center Learning Collective had just come out with their Structuring Equality, originally published as a collection of blog posts here on the HASTAC platform. It was the result of the graduate class “American Literature, American Learning,” taught by Cathy N. Davidson at City University of New York. The author as a collective should already give any interested reader a hint that this was a deeply collaborative effort, involving the collective body of students in the class and a team of undergraduates from CUNY’s Peer Leadership and Mentoring Program. The undergraduates were able to learn many transferable skills in the process, such as professional copy-editing, proof-reading, and book design skills. I wanted the review project of the book to follow a similar model to Structuring Equality, so we mirrored the book’s collaborative structure.

Christina: So to review this book, we wanted the process to be structured equitably. Doing the work entirely remotely provided a unique opportunity to do so. People volunteered to review a chapter according to what they were interested in; we agreed on deadlines and word lengths over email; each reviewer shared their work in a Google Doc to elicit as much feedback as possible, and each reviewer acted as an editor for someone else. I really liked that as collaborative as this process was, the review authors had the final say over their work. They were responsible for accepting or rejecting edits and revisions, and the final length of their piece. It makes sense of course since each review was ultimately published as a personal blog post, under each reviewer’s HASTAC account; but for me in this experience it just felt really nice to be managing a project, not managing people.

Kalle: All of the reviewers are part of our HASTAC Scholars program, and I could not be happier with this group of reviewers from all over North America: Jennifer Roth Miller, Emily Esten, Lawrence Evalyn, and R.D. Snyder. They have all followed such generous and rewarding reviews of all of the book’s chapters, as you will see in their posts below. Christina Bosch truly deserves to be singled out in the group, for her excellent project management skills. Feel free to add your questions around and ideas about the book chapters as comments in the reviews linked below! Have you found them useful in the classroom? If so, add a comment about your experience doing so!

Introduction and Afterword

Review by Christina A. Bosch (University of Massachusetts)


Chapter 1: Our Students: Learning to Listen to Multilingual Student Voices

Review by Jennifer Roth Miller (University of Central Florida)


Chapter 2: Student Body: What Happens When Teachers and Students Move Together

Review by Christina A. Bosch (University of Massachusetts)


Chapter 3: The Atlanta Compromise, Reacting to the Past

Review by Emily Esten (Brown University)


Chapter 4: The Value of the Non-Evaluative: Rethinking Faculty Observation

Review by Lawrence Evalyn (University of Toronto)


Chapter 5: Three Problems with Observation

Review by James Edmonds (Arizona State University)


Chapter 6: Literature as a Learning Tool: A Lesson Plan

Review by R.D. Snyder (Washington State University)

Structuring Equality is available free on, can be downloaded (also free) as a pdf, and can be purchased on Amazon (currently available at an introductory price of $5.09).