Who are Courageous Conversations for?

While personal transformation can happen in dialogue, systemic change requires collaboration.

To advance equitable educational outcomes, educators need to have direct conversations about why pervasive, disproportionate outcomes exist for underserved students (by race, income, perceived ability, and language). That used to be a controversial statement, and in some places it may still be. However, having these conversations can transform adults. They can make identities explicit, uncover hidden biases, and help educators identify inequities and strategies to overcome them in their school. However, they cannot be transformative if they only focus on educators.

We have found that to be successful, these conversations must happen within a school community and hold a steady focus on impacting the most persistent disproportionate outcomes for underserved students. While personal transformation can happen in dialogue, systemic change requires collaboration. We must work together to transform schools into spaces for success for each and every student.

Calling for educators to transform education is a gigantic ask. It can feel overwhelming. There are so many factors outside of our control that can impact schools and student outcomes: politics, economics, geography, and history. However, there is a powerful engine to drive student success that is within our realm of influence: the Instructional Core. 

The Instructional Core refers to the triad of how students are engaged, what teachers do, and the rigor of the content. It is where we can prioritize key improvements to improve outcomes for students who have been underserved and marginalized. In collaboration, we can co-create goals and implement improvements to the Instructional Core. When we focus on learning and teaching, we can impact student success.

Collaborating with educators with an explicit focus on improving the Instructional Core must happen in concert with courageous conversations about race, equity, identity, and bias. When collaboration turns the corner to impact practice, classrooms, and educators, it gives us power and agency to make changes, even if they are small, to improve outcomes for all of our students. It prioritizes this work to benefit students. 

Ready to take a small next step? CLEE’s expert adult learning design, protocols, data analysis tools, and coaching support services can provide the structure for innovative educator practices to align and impact each and every student. CLEE is offering a taste of this collaboration with a focus on improving student outcomes with three upcoming free virtual sessions, Leading Collaboration for Equity Series:

  • Questioning as a Tool to Interrupt Bias - Thursday, March 7, 2024 4-6pm (Eastern)

  • Integrating Equity-Centered Data Routines into Adult CollaborationThursday, April 25, 2024 4-6pm (Eastern)

  • Analyzing Student Work to Drive Improvement in the Instructional CoreThursday, May 9, 2024 4-6pm (Eastern)