Centering Your Students: How to Sustain Inclusion and Equity as an Educator Agenda

8:30-9:00 a.m. Early Bird Meet-and-Greet

Arrive early to learn about Global and Area Studies events and resources at the University of Kansas and enjoy refreshments, a continental breakfast, and the opportunity to socialize with colleagues from around the region.


9:00-9:10 a.m. Welcome + Overview


9:10-9:35 a.m. Self-reflection Exercise: Who am I as an Educator?

Self-reflection is a critical practice when trying to authentically teach in a diverse environment. Participate in a low-stakes drawing and writing activity designed to explore your teacher identity using self-portraits.

Facilitated by Aron Muci


9:35-10:35 a.m. Centering Your Students: How to Sustain Inclusion and Equity as an Educator

Track the evolution of cultural relevant pedagogy to emerging research and case studies about sustaining diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in K-12 classrooms regionally and nationally. This interactive discussion will help you meet the demands of teaching children that are culturally, linguistically, and economically different from yourself.

Facilitated by Dr. M’Balia Thomas, Assistant Professor in the School of Education and Human Sciences, who is a Critical Applied Linguist housed within a Department of Curriculum & Teaching where she specialize in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). While her teaching duties lie in TESOL, her research examines teaching, learning, and language use broadly.


10:35-10:45 a.m. Break


10:45-12:00 p.m. Global and Local Approaches to Relevant Teaching: A Roundtable Discussion (15 min. Presentations)

Learn about curriculum content and strategies to teach studentsfrom diverse backgrounds and with differing needs. This guided discussion will prepare you to make your classroom a globally-focused fair and equitable learning environment. You will learn from a panel of regional experts, with content based in Latin American and the Caribbean, East Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe, and Africa.


12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch


1:00-1:50 p.m. Beyond the Classroom: Approaches to Teaching for Equity

Learn about sustaining a quality learning environment in the classroom and beyond. This interactive discussion will focus on tools to encourage diverse student voices by demonstrating meaningful connections with relevant cultural touchstones as well as consider strategies to sustain efforts that aim to make education more inclusive and equitable.

Facilitated by Dr. Lonna Rocha, Assistant Teaching Professor in the School of Education and Human Services, who was a bilingual paraeducator for preK-12 students and taught English to college students and adults in the U.S. and Mexico. Rocha has taught graduate and undergraduate courses for in-service and pre-service teachers and provided professional development workshops to educators, community members, and migrant family advocates.


1:50-2:00 p.m. Break


2:00-3:00 p.m. Supporting Powerful Learning: Gateways to Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

Are you looking for effective strategies to address the learning needs of culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse students?  Take time to reflect and connect the professional development training from today's workshop to your instructional practice. With colleagues and peers, considers ways of recognizing the value of the diversity in your classroom, reinforcing cultural perspectives at all levels of the K-12 curriculum, valuing the skills and knowledge of colleagues from diverse backgrounds, and supporting equity development in your school and community. Recharge, look ahead, and explore ways to positively influence your teaching for the new school year. 

Facilitated by Dr. Cheryl Wright, Lecturer in the School of Education and Human Sciences, who is accomplished educator, with over 45 years of experience. She has an extensive background in K-12 education, instructional coaching, professional development, and teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels in higher education.


3:00-4:00p.m. Team Presentations + Closing Remarks + Group Photo