Building a Pedagogy of Belonging
For CLASSROOM TEACHERS of all academic subjects in grades 4-12, as well as department chairs and academic administrators
Creating a sense of belonging means more than doing an occasional community-building activity. While such activities can be fun, they can send the implicit message that community is something that happens separate and apart from the “real“ business of school: the academic learning. Belonging to an authentic community means (1) having something meaningful to contribute to it, (2) knowing that those contributions will be fully heard and taken seriously, and (3) actively listening to and appreciating other members’ contributions—all so that a sense of solidarity emerges.
Session 1: Establishing an Authentic Community. Collaboratively explore what a learning community is. Then, discover how to use protocols to establish a learning community where every student feels a sense of belonging.
Session 2: Helping Students Engage with the Material and One Another. First, practice a protocol that helps students discover and deepen their own thinking about the material so they can contribute meaningfully to the learning community. Then, practice another protocol that helps students listen to and learn from one another, so that everyone is seen, heard, affirmed, and appreciated as an important member of the learning community.