Our Books

THE PD CURATOR is about how professional learning experiences can become more inclusive, participatory, cohesive, and effective—and about the role teachers and leaders can play in creating those experiences. That role isn't so much administrative as it is curatorial. Just as art curators can legitimize artists by including their work in a gallery or exhibit, PD curators have the power to legitimize the work of an array of teachers. They help create immersive intellectual, emotional, and social experiences—all while caring for the professionals and the profession. Learn to:

  • Structure teachers' schedules to make time for in-house professional learning.​

  • Select content and create a process for how people interact with it.

  • Fit the often disparate pieces together into a meaningful whole.

  • Discover whether the event has been successful.

  • Use practical tools and protocols to plan professional learning that taps into the expertise and interests of a diverse staff.

TEACH MEANINGFUL is a practical guide to designing curriculum that meets standards, serves personal and institutional values, and intentionally leads to successful student learning. Identifying which understandings, knowledge, and skills are “most important” for students to learn is always a question of values, so getting clear on values gives teachers a starting place to design cohesive units, courses, and programs. Written by a teacher for teachers, the book includes:

  • Stories of failures and successes in designing curriculum from across subjects and grade levels.​

  • Metaphors from everyday life to help teachers understand curriculum design as a process rooted in values and culminating in meaningful learning.

  • Examples of essential questions, assessment guidelines, lesson calendars, unit plans, and curriculum maps.

  • Exercises and templates teachers can use to create and assess curriculum.

  • Protocols designed to encourage inclusive participation and critical reflection when colleagues look at curriculum together.

TWO-FOR-ONE TEACHING is an approach to instructional design that integrates student-centered social-emotional learning into every stage of an academic unit. The book contains 30 protocols, rooted in evidence-based psychological science and progressive pedagogy, that actively teach social-emotional and academic skills.

  • Develop an understanding of what values are, how they impact the way we live, and the need for students to choose and live their own values.​

  • Understand how to develop a classroom culture of willingness and encourage student empowerment.

  • Help students approach academic work in ways that align with their values.

  • Explore ways to integrate values exploration into student learning throughout instructional units in any discipline.

  • Receive numerous customizable protocols rooted in scientific and behavioral research that simultaneously facilitate academic and social-emotional growth.

EMPOWER YOUR STUDENTS offers strategies for how teachers can put students’ own values at the center of their learning, so that school becomes a source of meaning and vitality in students’ lives. EMPOWER stands for exploration, motivation, participation, openness, willingness, empathy, and resilience.

  • Understand what values are and how they are different from preferences and goals.

  • Discover how to help students determine which values they want to enact at school and in life.

  • Examine how to incorporate values work into the classroom curriculum in all disciplines.

  • Explore examples of classroom experiences that highlight the importance of student empowerment.

  • Learn how to bring your own values to the classroom to become a better teacher and colleague.

VALUES & QUESTIONS invites students into conversations about values they can bring to their learning, their work, their relationships and other aspects of their lives. The cards are designed for any adult who works with students in grades 6–12 – including classroom teachers, administrators, counsellors, psychologists, social workers, learning specialists and support staff – and wants to start meaningful conversations with individual students or groups.

Values and Questions has two decks. Values cards have words that describe ways of being that make life meaningful, such as curious, generous and imaginative. The questions on the Questions cards contain blank spaces. Any value can fit any blank space and students respond to the resulting question.

The instruction booklet highlights a number of ways players can use the cards, either through individual reflection, partner conversations or group discussion. With 5400 possible questions to which players can respond, Values and Questions will help students imagine new ways to live by their values. In this game, everyone wins.

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© Lauren Porosoff and Jonathan Weinstein, 2021