How do we talk about issues that matter in our classes? How do we design our classes to create the space for such conversations to happen? In this two-part series with Facing History and Ourselves, we will consider again why we teach in order to set intention around how we teach, and apply these understandings to the challenging arena of talking about issues that matter. Throughout, we will exercise our skills with colleagues in articulating and facilitating solutions around problems of practice, in order to best support our students.
- ELA and subject-matter teachers (e.g., social studies, science, workforce prep, etc.)
This professional development activity/course is designed for:
This is a two-part series. Session 2 builds on Session 1; please plan to complete both sessions.
Session 1: Establishing Safe and Brave Learning Environments (2 hours)
How do we create learning communities that lead to meaningful and deep growth and development? Before we even get to content and curriculum, educators need to critically center the learning environments they create, which means re-grounding ourselves in our “Why”—in terms of education, our identities, and the socio-historical context of our moment.
In this first session we will do this and more by equipping ourselves with the mindsets and tools to better know and support our students, and establish safe and brave learning environments to develop voice and agency.
Session 2: Fostering Civil Discourse: How Do We Talk About Issues That Matter? (2 hours)
Engaging in civil discourse means bringing your mind, heart, and conscience to reflective conversations on topics that matter and in ways that allow you to extend your understanding in dialogue with others. It does not mean prioritizing politeness or comfort over getting to the heart of the matter.
In the second session we will build on the safe and brave learning environments we cultivated in Session 1 to explore strategies for facilitating difficult conversations, from preparation to in the moment and afterward, specifically within the ELA context.
- Utilize an equity lens and a historically informed pedagogical approach to support all students and reaffirm your purpose for teaching
- Facilitate meaningful conversations around challenging topics, both within planned curriculum content and with topical issues that arise from current events
- Engage in supportive conversations with colleagues around making curricular choices and pedagogical moves with clear learning outcomes in mind
Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:
Before Session 1, please read: 5 Ways to Ground Your Teaching in Equity and Justice (Facing Today blog, October 2020)
Before Session 2, please read: How Do We Talk About Issues that Matter? (Facing Today blog, August 2020)