SPR at the 2018 iNACOL Symposium!

Join SPR at the 2018 iNACOL Symposium in Nashville, TN! SPR will be joined by Allison Barmann, Vice President of Strategy and Learning at the Bush Foundation, to share results from our regional scan of individualized learning, and lead a rich discussion on culturally relevant teaching and learning in action.

Culture in the Classroom: Embedding Cultural Relevance in Teaching and Learning

Authentic learner-centered education is individualized to each student and grounded in their unique learning styles, aspirations, and cultural identities. In 2016 and 2017, SPR had the privilege of working with the Bush Foundation to conduct baseline research about what schools are doing to individualize learning throughout their region of focus—Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the 23 Native Nations that share the same geography. Over the course of a year, we documented many strategies being employed throughout the region to attend to students’ college and career interests, and to their preferred modalities and styles of learning. However, we found very few examples of concrete strategies to individualize education to students’ cultural identities and connect school practices to family/community practices.

With the great diversity of communities throughout this particular region, what makes cultural relevance in the classroom so elusive? At the 2018 iNACOL Symposium in Nashville, TN, we will bring this question to practitioners from across the country. In our session, “Culture in the Classroom: Embedding Cultural Relevance in Teaching and Learning,” we will share the learnings from our research in the Bush Foundation’s region. In particular, we will highlight the experiences and challenges of over 300 schools/districts in addressing cultural relevance in learner-centered environments. During our session, we will also share our developing framework for culturally responsive teaching and learning, and will invite practitioners to discuss with us and each other their own approaches and practices to embedding cultural relevance in learning. In small and large groups, participants will share challenges and lessons learned in integrating culture in the classroom and successfully navigating barriers.

We hope that this interactive session will support practitioners to learn about strategies for grounding students’ cultural identities in a learner-centered school experience. Our aim is for participants to leave the session with new ideas and strategies that they plan to try in their own learning environments, as well as a deeper understanding of what it means to attend to “who students are” in the practice of teaching and learning.

If you’ll be at iNACOL, we welcome you to join us for this session on Monday, October 22, 2018 from 2:15-3:15pm. Please see the session agenda for more information.

Sukey Leshnick
Daniela Berman
Jennifer Hogg