IDEAS Courses

IDEAS 1: Anti-Racist School Practices to Support the Success of All Students

This 25 hour course is designed to introduce educators to the complex issues raised by race and racism and their impact on student learning and achievement. The course will encourage educators to recognize the link between self-awareness and professional development as a component of providing equity to all students.

Participants will explore the current personal, interpersonal, social, and structural meanings of race, ethnicity and culture, the cycle of oppression as well as the roles of power, oppression, and identity. Furthermore, participants will discuss how these issues affect classrooms and school systems, their impact on the academic achievement gap and how to develop and implement practical ideas to help narrow the gap. In addition, this course will also help increase the skills of cultural proficiency.

The course will meet for 25 hours and offers 2 graduate credits from Framingham State University as well as PDPs.


IDEAS 2: Enacting Systemic Change in Educational Institutions

This 25 hour course is designed to build upon the foundational theories and complex issues studied in IDEAS 1: Anti-Racist School Practices to Support the Success of All Students. Participants will study systemic change models and develop, enact, and evaluate a project to effect change in their educational setting, whether that setting is working with a small group of students, a classroom, a grade level, a school, or an entire district. Successful completion of IDEAS 1 is a prerequisite for the course.

The course will meet for 25 hours and offers 2 graduate credits from Framingham State University as well as PDPs.


Building Bridges: Facilitating Difficult Conversations with Students

This course is designed for educators who wish to integrate issues of identity and equity into a subject area through student-centered activities that are designed to promote social justice conversations. Participants will also develop an understanding of “intersectionality,” how multiple forms of oppression (i.e.: LGBTQ, gender/sexism, race) overlap and intersect. Participants will practice skills that encourage students to recognize differences, see inherent values, appropriately handle conflict and misunderstandings, and engage in conversations of equity in order to be prepared to navigate through a world that is increasingly diverse. This course will provide educators with resources to develop lessons and apply research-based strategies to encourage students to work together to build caring and equitable classroom/school communities while growing in their personal identity, confidence, and courage. Activities and discussions from this course can also be integrated into specific “Race/Culture/Identity” courses, and/or be part of programs, such as, Advisory, Open Circle, Developmental Designs, Responsive Classroom, etc.

The course will meet for 12.5 hours and offers 1 graduate credit from Framingham State University as well as PDPs (Certificates of Attendance).


Co-Teaching Strategies for Creating Inclusive and Culturally Responsive Classrooms

This course explores cooperative group work, student engagement, and specially designed instruction with a focus on a variety of co-teaching models. Participants will explore how to support all students, particularly those who are in special education, come with a socio-emotional/ trauma history, are English language learners, and belong to racial and ethnic minority populations. This course highlights neurological research and its connection to culturally responsive co-teaching (based on the work by Zaretta Hammond, author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain). Participants will learn strategies for attention, retention, and assessment. Humor, movement, and novelty is explored in order to plan instruction and maximize learning. Strategies and information could be adapted to all classrooms and subjects. Completion of this course will satisfy special education endorsement requirements.

The course will meet for 12.5 hours and offers 1 graduate credit from Framingham State University as well as PDPs (Certificates of Attendance).


Difficult Conversations: Talking about Race and Racism with Students, Colleagues and Parents/Guardians

This course is designed to help educators develop a better understanding of ways to address and respond to issues of race and racism on a personal and professional level. Participants will consider the experiences of students and families from ethnically or racially diverse backgrounds in predominantly white schools, and will examine both the barriers to/challenges of talking about race/racism/ethnicity and strategies for engaging in productive discussions.

The course will meet for 12.5 hours and offers 1 graduate credit from Framingham State University as well as PDPs (Certificates of Attendance).


IDEAS Course for School Administrators: Supporting Culturally Proficient Classrooms/Schools

This 12.5-hour course is designed to help administrators understand the inner-workings of cultural proficiency, including examining the impact of racial microaggressions and stereotypes on learning, student engagement, and school culture. School leaders will learn strategies on how to apply these elements to supporting culturally proficient classrooms and school environments, as well as applying the course learning to schools at the institutional level. The course content will draw on the work of Randall B. Lindsey, Nuri-Robins, Raymond D., James Banks, and Zaretta Hammond.

The course will meet for 12.5 hours and offers 1 graduate credit from Framingham State University as well as PDPs.


Strategies for Examining and Addressing the Academic Achievement Gap

This course considers the importance of understanding the interconnection of race, culture, and experiences of students on increasing academic engagement and achievement. Research on the influence of race, ethnicity, and racism on academic achievement and developing culturally proficient skills will be examined through activities and readings. Furthermore, strategies that have been identified as successful will be studied and adapted to fit the needs of students in our schools in an effort to ensure that students are provided with excellence and equity in their educational experience.

The course will meet for 12.5 hours and offers 1 graduate credit from Framingham State University as well as PDPs.


Transforming Curriculum through a Social Justice Lens

This course is designed for educators who wish to understand multicultural curriculum transformation using the model developed by James Banks and incorporating the Teaching Tolerance standards regarding identity, diversity, justice, and action. Participants will explore “challenging and changing the narrative” to include more multicultural perspectives, adapting pedagogy to be more culturally responsive, and challenging systemic racism and bias. Participants will then adapt/develop their own lesson/unit plan.

The course will meet for 12.5 hours and offers 1 graduate credit from Framingham State University as well as PDPs (Certificates of Attendance).


Understanding the “Culture” in Culturally Responsive Teaching

This course encourages participants to examine and address cultural identity, relative privileges, and issues of diversity. Through experiential activities, participants develop an understanding of the importance of affirming culture, appreciating history, and understanding the experiences of people/ students from cultural backgrounds different than their own. Participants reflect on their own cultural dimensions, paying particular attention to cultural archetypes, and develop an understanding of the communication and learning styles of students from diverse backgrounds and their impact on brain development and social-emotional growth. These understandings will help participants develop culturally proficient strategies to enhance their ability to meet the needs of all students.

The course will meet for 12.5 hours and offers 1 graduate credit from Framingham State University as well as PDPs (Certificates of Attendance).


Understanding Self-Efficacy: Helping Student Do Their Best Work

This course provides participants with an opportunity to explore concepts of self-efficacy, effective praise, and attribution theory. Research by Carol Dweck, Claude Steele, and others is highlighted through experiential activities. Participants will examine how a student’s perception of him/herself as a learner influences their academic engagement and performance. Participants will learn how to use a “strengths approach,” create a growth mindset environment, emphasize mistakes as part of the learning process, and give constructive feedback to promote student success in the school setting.

The course will meet for 12.5 hours and offers 1 graduate credit from Framingham State University as well as PDPs.

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