Upcoming Workshops at #NAISAC15: Cultural Competence & Public-Private Partnership

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Chris Thinnes


I am excited to collaborate with two great teams in workshops at the upcoming NAIS Annual Conference in Boston. In each case, we are hoping to provoke dialogue and catalyze action in areas that matter dearly to each of us — but to learn as much from the experience and insight of participants, as we may hope to share from our own points of view.

NAIS-CC21C-SOn Friday, February 27th at 11:30 a.m. in Room 312, I will join Gene Batiste (former NAIS VP for Equity & Justice, current E.D. of Independent Education in Washington, DC) and Rosetta Lee (teacher and professional outreach specialist from Seattle Girls’ School) to foster dialogue about “Cultural Competence as Educational-Relational Thinking: Bridging Learning and Community.” The three of us will briefly represent the work we’ve been doing with Alison Park and Steven Jones to connect conversations about diversity, inclusion, and social justice in our learning communities to the core commitments of deeper learning in our educational programs, then harvest feedback from participants at the recent NAIS People of Color Conference to catalyze further dialogue among NAIS Annual Conference participants in small and highly interactive groups. What are the connections between teaching and learning and diversity and inclusion? How might we leverage the interdependence of relational learning and inclusive communities? What resources would help schools cultivate cultural competency for deeper learning in our 21st century schools?

NAIS-SharingVisions-SLater that Friday at 1:30pm — also in Room 312 — I’ll join Karen Aka (CAO of Academy21), Peter Gow (ED of the Independent Curriculum Group), Pam Moran (Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools), Laura Robertson (Teacher at St. Anne’s-Belfield School and NAIS ‘Teacher of the Future’), and Diana Smith (Principal of Washington Latin Public Charter School) in a panel moderated by NAIS President John Chubb. “Sharing Visions: Bringing Public and Independent School Educators” will model (as a ‘fishbowl’) as much as it promotes (as its mission) the effort to bridge differences across school sectors and educational perspectives, in order to explore shared practices, common goals, and misconceptions that inhibit our capacity to collaborate. What might independent school educators hope to learn from greater participation in national and global conversations on education? What do independent school educators stand to learn from the experience and expertise of public school educators? What barriers, real and imagined, stand between the realm of independent school educators and the world of public education? How might these barriers be removed? Peter Gow shares a bit more about this workshop — and a related workshop at the upcoming PSPP Conference that Laura, Peter, and I will host in our capacity as #PubPriBridge co-founders — in this post.

I hope to connect with some of you in Boston, and I look forward to sharing resources and reflections from these workshops in a few short weeks!

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