Welcome to the CPE blog: Equity & Engagement in Education! If you haven’t been here before, you may want to read our opening post before you dive into today’s post explaining our passion for equity and engagement in education.
Education. Engagement. Equity. These words are part of our organization’s foundation. But they are more than mere rhetoric–they are pedagogical building blocks.
Education: We believe passionately in public education–the foundation of this institution is that all young people have equal access to relevant and rigorous learning that will produce successful adults who will become productive members of society. Adult productivity and participation can take multiple pathways, and it is the ability to achieve in a variety of ways, and the confidence to do so, that we want to foster in our students.
Engagement: We do not believe in passive learners. Our students are not empty vessels whom we simply pour information into. Our students come to us, at every stage of education, with ideas, experiences, interests, values, and strengths. While our students are not these empty vessels, they are not fully developed either. This is why educators hold such transformational power in our students’ lives. We do our best as educators when we get to know these aspects of our students, and leverage them to engage our students in their education. As educators, we want to help young people develop into the person they want to be, expand the possibilities for who they may become, and highlight the numerous pathways for how they may get there.
Equity: We believe in equitable access to engaging, relevant, and rigorous education. Our students are unique, diverse, and extraordinary. Our students differ by location, race, gender, religion, language, and economic status. They also differ in experiences, background, interests, and abilities. It is our job as educators to engage each of our students in an education that honors and leverages these differences. There is no quick-fix, easy solution to this. Choosing to be dedicated to providing equitable and personalized education is a brave and ambitious decision. It will require commitment, passion, and creativity. It will also provide numerous opportunities to witness renewed student engagement, to see curiosity bloom, and watch self-empowerment strengthen in our learning spaces.
Equity & Engagement in Education.
As we seek to help you expand equity and engagement in your classrooms, buildings, and districts, you can expect to regularly see the following in this blog:
- Resources: Equity and engagement are broad topics that require thought and planning. We will provide resources to help you on this journey–to encourage you and spark inspiration.
- Strategies: As you engage in deeper pedagogical practice, we want to help you identify small steps and applicable strategies that you can implement immediately–next week, or even tomorrow.
- Reflection: As educators, we are generally reflective by nature, often asking ourselves, “How could I have improved that?” many times throughout the day. In the space of equity and engagement, we benefit from purposeful reflection that pushes us to question and name our assumptions and biases. We will provide opportunities for this specific type of reflection.
- Community: Beginning (or continuing) a journey of increasing equity and engagement in your learning environment requires support from like-minded educators. We will foster a network to support you in this work.
Opportunities for Reflection
- Classroom Teachers: Think about a lesson you did this year where students were very engaged. What do you think made them so engaged? What was different about this lesson from other lessons you’ve done where students acted more passively? Is there an aspect of your high-engagement lesson that you could incorporate into a lesson you’re teaching tomorrow?
- Building Administrators: The winter weather can make us all feel slumped and disinterested. How can you let students and teachers know you’re happy to see them at school tomorrow? Can you greet them at the door as they walk in? Can you make an announcement tomorrow both acknowledging the winter blues and celebrating the magic that happens in school every day?
- District Administrators: What program(s) at schools in your districts have the highest engagement? What have you seen/heard about the results of involvement in these programs? Why do you think they have such high engagement? What does this say about the students in your district?