This course is a fantastic option for educators who are interested in creating engaged and empowered democratic citizens. The course will examine how social-emotional learning intersects with academic learning. Students will explore and discuss strategies to increase student agency and advocacy and create thriving learning communities marked by shared understanding, ownership, and respect. Over eight weeks, educators will take a deep dive into what constitutes student agency and advocacy. Students will explore questions that surround this centerpiece of young students’ experience:
- How does having a voice affect a student’s learning and life experience?
- How do we design a school and classroom culture that cultivates and responds to student agency and advocacy?
- How can students develop stewardship of their own learning experiences and communities?
- How can teachers facilitate growth in these areas?
Participants are invited to grapple with these and other questions through lively discussions, readings, school observations, and hands-on projects. Participants will help shape our exploration of student agency and advocacy. They will come away with understandings and strategies for deepening student engagement that are applicable to our own educational communities. This is a unique opportunity to connect, collaborate, and network with local professionals in an interactive, collegial environment.
In this course, participants will:
- Examine the role of student agency and advocacy in their own school and classroom culture.
- Explore student agency and advocacy as an avenue for deepening student engagement and learning.
- Engage with practical strategies for cultivating student agency and advocacy in a variety of school contexts, including:
- Self-advocacy in social and academic problem solving
- Partner, small-group, and whole-class discussion and decision making
- Curriculum design, classroom norms, and democratic school governance
- Consider the developmental nature of student agency and advocacy across age groups, and the balance between teacher decision making and student decision-making.
- Practice cultivating student agency and advocacy in their own school settings, and reflecting on their experiences, challenges, and outcomes.