Philosophy and Approach

Each of the activities, conceptual frameworks, goals and discussion topics listed in the Phases of the the Work is designed to move teachers, leaders, schools, and systems toward greater cultural competence and effectiveness in the practice of culturally responsive teaching and leadership.

The overall goal of the process is to bring equity alive in the classroom, address the many demographic gaps that exist in our student outcomes, and to move schools closer to the realization of our vision of social justice. It is suggested that participants come as whole faculties or as teams from individual buildings or departments. Every effort must be made to insure that there is a built-in support system for implementation at the building and classroom level.

In this intensive systemic process,
selected individuals and teams can be prepared to lead and implement professional development activities in their school or district in a Training of Trainers model. For systems engaged in REACH training, GESA work, Courageous Conversations about Race, SEED, ADL programs, or other multicultural and equity staff development processes, the experience with Gary Howard will reinforce and complement these efforts and help support your ongoing work in the following ways:

1. Continue and deepen the work of personal growth toward cultural competence for teachers, classified staff, and educational leaders.

2. Expand the approach and analysis to multiple dimensions of difference, including race, but also focusing on culture, class, gender, language, sexual orientation, special needs, religion, learning styles, and the many other differences that affect educational outcomes.

3. Deepen educators’ understanding of issues of privilege, power, social dominance and social justice in a way that increases their passion for equity without intensifying the resistance caused by the rhetoric of shame and blame.

4. Provide a comprehensive set of practical tools for classroom implementation and differentiation using the 7 Principles for Culturally Responsive Teaching.

5. Demonstrate a 3-4 year process of peer support and action research focused on data-based results aimed at transforming pedagogy at the classroom level and closing targeted achievement gaps at the individual student level.

6. Support school and district efforts at systemic change and strategic planning for equity and diversity, offering a model for institutional transformation and a process for measuring strategic outcomes related to cultural competence and culturally responsive practice.