CREATE Universal Engagement
Students paying close attention in an FTH learning environment
Culture and ethnicity impact student behavior and academic performance. CREATE takes school educators on a journey to discover appropriate culturally relevant and responsive instruction in contemporary public school settings. Educators are introduced to practical classroom strategies that encourage and build students' self-awareness, self-concept, and self-esteem from a culturally and ethnically competent perspective. It is important to note that regardless of race or ethnicity, all children bring learned experiences from their background to the teaching and learning process.
CREATE focuses on providing educators with real-life examples of how to take the Common Core State Standards and make them meaningful and relevant for traditionally vulnerable Black American children growing up in poverty. Nevertheless, most of the instructional strategies introduced are appropriate for any classroom of ethnically and economically diverse students.
Each training session is balanced with interactive discussions as well as large and small group activities. Training participants are provided a training portfolio that includes the training curriculum, professional articles, opportunities for journaling, culturally relevant reading lists for educators, and culturally relevant literature lists for students.
Recognizing student engagement in academic tasks as the most proximal factor in improving student achievement, FTH provides instructional support aimed at maximizing student engagement. Universal Engagement is achieved when all students remain cognitively connected and emotionally affected throughout the learning process. This level of cognitive and affective commitment to learning necessitates active participation in appropriately challenging and culturally relevant academic tasks. In pursuit of Universal Engagement, educators must understand the complexity of cognitive and affective engagement. Further, they must fully invest in fostering this level of commitment to learning within every child in the classroom. We believe when cognitive and affective engagement are fostered in school settings and, when all children experience the benefits of both, learning and academic achievement dramatically increases.
"You can tell when something is really relevant and authentic..."
Universal Engagement is achieved when all students remain cognitively connected and emotionally affected throughout the learning process.
Cognitive engagement refers to the understanding of complex concepts and the acquisition of challenging academic skills, which keep the student intellectually connected throughout the learning process. Affective engagement refers to the feelings and emotional reactions related to task investment, which keep the student affected throughout the learning process. Achieving Universal Engagement requires educators to fully involve each individual student in the learning process by strategically attending to both the cognitive and affective domains. When students are challenged through culturally relevant learning tasks, they remain active participants in their learning. Once every child in the classroom remains cognitively connected and emotionally affected in this manner, Universal Engagement has been achieved.
After developing a thorough understanding of both cognitive and affective engagement, training participants will begin the development of an Instructional Framework based upon FTH's concept of Universal Engagement. By aligning school and classroom policies and procedures with our foundational belief that every human life is important, unique, and wonderful, a greater percentage of children will reach their maximum potential and, as a result, we will make significant progress toward closing academic achievement gaps. Participants will receive specific training related to topics including, but not limited to, instructional strategies, classroom management, assessment practices, differentiated instruction, and culturally relevant pedagogy. Each training session is balanced with interactive discussions as well as large and small group activities. Training participants will be supported with the training curriculum and technical support, including observation and coaching.
From the Heart International Educational Services
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