An equity-focused professional learning community to
build our collective efficacy to support historically
marginalized students impacted by the pandemic.
October 2022 - May 30, 2023
Participation is by application
The PLC is an 8 month experience where we focus on helping students build their brain power by building teacher capacity to use culturally responsive instruction to coach students to higher levels of cognitive engagement.
More than ever we need to ensure that every student becomes an independent learner who has the skill and stamina to complete any unfinished learning created by the pandemic.
WE FOCUS ON BUILDING CAPACITY RATHER THAN ON COLLECTING ONE-OFF STRATEGIES
The Structure of the Culturally Responsive Education by Design PLC
The PLC is a combination of asynchronous and synchronous virtual learning with a site team component.
We invite teachers, coaches, and leaders from the same school to work together in teams of 4 – 12.
We engage in scaffolded inquiry cycles, grounded in video analysis, to get smarter about how to use culturally-grounded instructional practices, to help students level up their learning.
We stay centered on helping students become aware of their ability to grow their brain power, and give them new cognitive tools congruent with collective learning principles.
The research on the effectiveness of traditional professional development is clear:
Typical stand-alone teacher training and professional development doesn’t lead to lasting change in teachers’ practice, nor does it impact student learning signiﬁcantly.
This is particularly true when addressing issues of educational equity and culturally responsive practice.
That is why professional learning communities, grounded in collective efficacy and
equity-focused inquiry, are the perfect structure for building skill, will, knowledge,
and capacity to use culturally responsive practices to increase learning.
IS THE PLC RIGHT FOR YOUR SCHOOL TEAM?
There are four key criteria for determining if it is a fit.
Teams must be ready to engage in collaborative inquiry cycles.
Having teachers and administration in sync is critical for long-term
learning and change, according to research. Having the support of school
administration means you have the time necessary to fully engage in this
Administrators who support this approach recognize that this is NOT a quick-ﬁx “train-the-trainer”model, but is an investment in teacher and student capacity-building toward whole child equity.
Here are what last year’s participants are saying about their experience in the PLC:
“The learning from this PLC has changed who I am as a teacher, it has reoriented and grounded my practice. The learning turned my focus back onto my students and working with them to create a space where all learners can thrive.”
Hillsboro School District
“What we learned in the PLC helped students have their voices heard. After a long year of the pandemic and remote learning, helping students have their voices heard was critical. Zaretta’s work helped to not only bring students’ voices to the forefront, but to do it in a culturally responsive way, rather than the same old traditional, colonized ways of the past.”
Josh Zarling, Ed.D.
Tacoma Public Schools
“Students were beginning to connect new learning to old knowledge. They were also becoming more comfortable with sharing their thinking. Teachers were beginning to understand how to ask questions that help students through productive struggle versus telling them the answers.”
Pontiac School District
I’M ON A MISSION TO HELP STUDENTS UNLEASH THEIR GENIUS
I’m Zaretta Hammond, educator and amateur neuroscientist.
Since its publication, my book, Culturally Responsive Teaching and the
Brain has touched the professional lives of nearly half a million educators.
As a result, more teachers and leaders have a better understanding of the need for learning partnerships with students and the need to help them become independent learners.
But honestly, we haven’t been able to close the knowing-doing gap in using culturally responsive practices to provide instruction that helps students build the skill to take on more rigorous content. In many cases we’ve reduced CRT to social-emotional relationship building, gamification, or more group work.
We have failed to help students expand their capacity to carry more of the cognitive load during instruction. And, that’s the only path to equity in the long run.
We need to get our students ready for rigor if we are to be successful in reducing the long-term impact of the pandemic on their academic success.
The Culturally Responsive Education by Design PLC is a unique program that integrates inquiry, the science of learning, and culturally responsive instruction in the service of teacher and student capacity-building.
Here’s my guarantee: If by the end of 30 days you and your team have actively participated in inquiry and have documented your work, but don’t feel the PLC is meeting your needs, I’ll refund your investment.
JOIN US IN INTERRUPTING INEQUITY BY DESIGN
“Better is possible. It does not take genius. It takes diligence. It takes moral
clarity. It takes ingenuity. And above all, it takes a willingness to try.”
― Atul Gawande, Surgeon and Author Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance
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