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Culturally Relevant Education (CRE) - Developing Cognitive Structures to Grow Independent Learners

Workshop Date/Time (range)

Regardless of our culture, we all become more effective as learners when we become aware of our learning processes and learn to manage how we think to learn. A culturally relevant educator supports dependent learners to become independent learners by doing more higher-order thinking and problem solving. This way, students can build cognitive capacity and academic mindset.

As Zarretta Hammond indicates in Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain - Making thinking routines a recurring part of the classroom’s approach to learning is at the heart of instructional equity. When we build instructional practices around opportunities to process information in ways that make learning sticky, then students become able to carry more of the cognitive load that leads to doing more rigorous work.

Thinking routines versus mere strategies: thinking routines or “learning moves” are used intentionally over and over again in the classroom. In rigorous classrooms, these structures become part of the way students think about thinking (cognitive structures). The cognitive structures on which we focus become the habits of mind by which students go about the process of learning. These cognitive structures are patterns of action that can be integrated and used in a variety of contexts.

As we continue to raise awareness of the inequities in education, these thinking routines to develop cognitive structures have risen in importance and are often recognized as a hallmark of independent learners even as they tend to be overlooked in many discussions of CRE.

Don’t miss this! Plan to join us for a session of serious play as we continue our quest to reach each student where they are and build up classrooms of transformative justice!

Our focus for the session will be on learning routines: research-based, and grounded in the day-to-day work of teachers and administrators, including:

  • Executive Function - start a task, stay on task and finish task
  • Organization - protocols, both physical and virtual, to “keep it together”
  • Specific engaging routines to encourage rigorous thinking:
    • Digging deeper into ideas
    • Taking differing perspectives
    • Synthesizing & organizing ideas
    • Introducing & exploring ideas

Audience: All Grade PK-12 Educators
Instructor: Sharon McCarthy, popular TMI-ENVISION SEL Specialist/Lead Consultant, ENVISION President, dynamic presenter and author.
Delivery Format: Virtual
Date/Times: November 17, 2022; 9am-12pm (EST)

The TMI-ENVISION SEL Professional and Personal Learning Series: Ensuring Safe, Healthy and Equitable Learning Spaces

The past two years have dramatically changed all aspects of our lives. We are more keenly aware than ever that our classrooms are integral to the health and well-being of our communities. These events have brought into sharp focus that the future of education lies at the recursive intersection of Trauma - inclusive of ACEs & Chronic Stress; Social Emotional Learning (SEL); and Equity & Social Justice.

To be clear, the approaches in SEL support and help heal those with the ACEs that contribute to Trauma. However, SEL is only successful in systems where Equity is valued and present. Equity is only possible when compassionate members of the system check their power, privilege and implicit bias, which is accomplished through the SEL competencies and sub-competencies. As educators, we tend to believe that all humans deserve to thrive socially, emotionally, cognitively, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We have the power to make the world - specifically our learning spaces - a better place - what would you like to do? What would you like to try?

The 2022-2023 TMI-ENVISION SEL Professional and Personal Development Series enhances your ability to turn your desires into reality. We think of our SEL Series as an integrated roadmap to create and maintain learning spaces where students feel - and - are safe, connected, supported and challenged. Each session contains the recursive threads of SEL, Equity and Healing Informed practices for Trauma. Take one, take two or take them all. Think of them as the vessel to hasten your journey to become the educator you are in your heart of hearts.

All of our TMI-ENVISION SEL Professional and Personal Development Series programs are led by Sharon McCarthy, popular TMI-ENVISION SEL Specialist/Lead Consultant, ENVISION President dynamic presenter and author.

Payment Methods and Cancellation/Refund Policy: Payment can be made by purchase order (PO) or check to TMI Education, LLC. Please mail all correspondence, including purchase orders, checks and agreements to TMI Education – PLC Division at PO Box 922, Madison, NJ 07940. If you are unable to attend a program for which you have registered, email the TMI PLC at [email protected] or call seven (7) days prior to the program to request a refund. No refunds will be granted unless notification is provided within this time frame. TMI Education reserves the right to cancel events for any reason, including inclement weather and instructor illness. If TMI Education makes the decision to cancel a workshop, we will use the EMAIL contact information you have provided to us to inform you. In addition, we will post the announcement of cancellation on the respective TMI Education website event page. If TMI Education cancels, participants will be provided a choice of:

  • a full refund;
  • transfer to another, upcoming workshop date and location (space permitting); or
  • credit toward a future workshop. (Please note that all credits expire one (1) year from the date that they are issued.)

Video-Recorded Virtual (Zoom) Sessions and Tips to Maintain your Privacy during a Recorded Session:  As an added value, all virtually-delivered programs are video recorded and accessible to our workshop registrants and Professional Learning Consortium Members subsequent to the session. Therefore, each virtually-delivered workshop and webinar will now have Zoom’s Recording Disclaimer enabled by default. With this feature, attendees will receive a notification when a recording starts or if they join a session that is already being recorded. The participant can then consent to stay in the session and be recorded or choose to leave the session altogether.

Tips to Maintain your Privacy during a Virtually-Delivered Session: Actively engaging in Zoom sessions is important. Participants may have concerns, however, of a Zoom session recording capturing their participation. Meeting hosts or instructors are taking steps to minimize this concern. In addition to the consent, participants can also use the following steps and features to take control of what is shared when a session is being recorded.

  • Change your participant name displayed in Zoom (e.g. only use your first name, replace your name)
  • Disable your video
  • Mute your audio
  • Do not communicate via the chat feature
  • Do not upload an identifiable profile photo

Please refer to Zoom’s Attendee Controls for more information on how to use these features.



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