What can we do locally about equity in our schools?
An Education Dialogue
Thursday, March 5, 2015, 4-8 pm, UMass Springfield Center
articles by Dr. sahlberg available in pdf format below.
On March 5th, 2015, we welcomed educators from Western Massachusetts to participate in an evening of discussion focused on what we can do locally about equity in our schools. 80 teachers, administrators, pre-service teachers, and teacher educators from schools and colleges throughout the Valley enjoyed hearing other's ideas, as well as learning from the experiences and research of the two faculty co-facilitators. The conversation circle structure of the dialogue led to extended sharing of questions and comments, followed by dinner and working groups.
The dialogue was co-facilitated by Pasi Sahlberg, author of Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? and Visiting Professor of Practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Maria José Botelho, Associae Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture in the College of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Sahlberg shared several key practices from Finland that he suggested might fit our context, although he emphasized that no education system is like another, so ideas cannot simply be transplanted without addressing systemic underpinnings. For more information about his work, see the articles linked below. Dr Botelho offered perspectives on teacher and school practices that can either obstruct or foster democratic education, based on her research on Waldorf education and democratically organized public schools in several countries and regions of the U.S.
Follow-up will include individual actions at school and district levels and an Op-Ed article co-authored by event participants, Dr. Botelho, and UMass College of Education doctoral candidates. Educators made connections on March 5 that we hope will support their work.
The dialogue celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Five College Schools Partnership and inaugurated an Education Dialogue Series the Partnership will sponsor in cooperation with other partners. Watch this space for announcements about a Fall 2015 Education Dialogue. To suggest topics, email Marla Solomon.
Western Massachusetts Math Partnership Update
Watch this space for news about a WMMP Summer Institute in late June!