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. Explore ways to build trust, manage power dynamics, and evoke values-based behavioral commitments when students work together.

Session 2: Helping Students Meaningfully Contribute to the Learning Community. Learn protocols that help students discover and deepen their own thinking so they can contribute meaningfully to their peers’ learning.

Session 3: Helping Students Appreciate Each Other’s Contributions. Discover protocols that help students listen to, affirm, and learn from one another.

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© Lauren Porosoff and Jonathan Weinstein, 2020