For Immediate Release: July 26, 2011
The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) at Wellesley College has received a $2.9 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to improve teacher quality through the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity). SEED, now in its 25th year, is a staff-development project for educators who aim to make school climates, teaching methods, and curricula more gender-fair, multi-culturally equitable, and inclusive of students from all backgrounds.
The aim of this three-year initiative is to expand the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum, and make its model of schooling inclusiveness for all children and families, including its innovative teaching practices, more widely known and available to educators in the United States. The SEED Project will double from 40 to 80 its summer training of teachers and parents to lead SEED seminars in their communities, and will also enable educators from 18 rural and urban schools which serve the most vulnerable populations the opportunity to start SEED seminars without paying the usual fees to participate and integrate SEED work into their underserved communities.
“When teachers and parents carry SEED methods into their classrooms and homes, the balancing of speaking and listening decreases polarization and increases thought, empathy, creative problem solving, and the capacity to decrease structural inequities that we have been taught to take for granted and not even to see,” notes Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D. founder and co-director of SEED and associate director of WCW. “SEED methods improve the student-teacher relationship and can be used at any grade level in any subject area to connect academic subjects to the present lives of the students. In the words of SEED Co-director Emily Style, they give teachers and students the chance to see and use “the textbooks of their lives as curricular material in its own right.”
Additionally, this initiative will include multi-media documentation and an interactive website of SEED’s 25 years of ongoing equity practices in order to extend the work over the next quarter of a century. The Project will hold a National SEED Principals’ Institute for principals who have had or led SEED seminars in their school and who can testify about how SEED modes have improved school leadership, teacher quality, and student learning, and helped their schools to make good on a key claim of their mission statements: to develop the potential of every student.
SEED year-long seminars have been led monthly by more than 1,800 SEED leaders in schools across the U.S. and the world. Based at the Wellesley Centers for Women, the SEED Project is led by McIntosh; Emily Style, an English teacher who has taught in higher education and in urban and suburban New Jersey schools; and Brenda Flyswithhawks, Instructor in Psychology at Santa Rosa Junior College in California. Learn more at www.wcwonline.org/seed.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families, and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa. For further information on the foundation, please visit www.wkkf.org.
To learn more about the Improving Teacher Quality through SEED: Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity project, please visit www.wcwonline.org/seed/kellogg.