Improving Teacher Quality through the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum

Ongoing since 2011*

Project Co-Director:  Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D.

Funder: W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The aim of this three-year initiative is to expand the influence of the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity), to make its model of schooling inclusiveness for all children and families, including its innovative professional development practices, more widely known and available to educators in the United States.

The goals of the Project follow.

1.) The National SEED Project will double its capacity to train and support teachers and parents to lead SEED seminars in their school communities by offering a second summer training program in addition to the existing one.   A summer training is a seven-day, residential workshop where up to 40 educators or parents are immersed in multicultural SEED materials and methods, and are prepared to start, beginning in the following fall, a year-long, monthly series of three-hour meetings in their school communities, attended by a committed group of 15-20 colleagues. SEED’s multiracial, multicultural staff of 16 will co-create and co-facilitate both workshops each summer.

2.) The grant will allow the SEED Project to fully subsidize SEED groups in 18 rural and urban public schools (six schools each year for three years) that serve the most vulnerable populations and that have never had SEED seminars before.  SEED’s credibility in its recruitment efforts will be helped by its current track record, the fact that its core summer staff members come from very diverse backgrounds, and that between 30 and 50% of each yearly group of new SEED leaders are teachers and parents of color. The grant will cover the costs of travel, tuition, room, board, and materials for the training of leaders from subsidized schools, and will support food and materials for the year-long SEED seminars in their schools. The SEED staff will work through its networks, advertise in education publications, and do presentations on SEED at four major conferences each year to recruit schools and educators, both for the doubled SEED leader enrollment and the 18 new school sites in underserved communities.

3.) The grant will make possible extensive documentation, publication, filming, and the creation of a rich interactive website, highlighting SEED’s 25 years of ongoing equity practices for educators. The goal is to share what SEED leaders have learned over the years and how SEED methods of inclusive pedagogy are making important contributions to education reform. The W.K. Kellogg grant will make the major insights and the classroom methods of SEED available to a wide variety of educators, families, and education policy makers at this key point in education history. Twenty-five veteran SEED leaders will write about how their SEED experiences affected their schools and classrooms and approaches to students. Three SEED leaders will conduct telephone interviews with many past SEED leaders. SEED documents will be collected and organized, and the history of SEED’s ideas, discoveries, and practices in equitable education will be posted online. The interactive SEED website will also feature SEED seminar agendas, articles, video interviews, and documentary footage of the training week, as well as testimonies of students and teachers -- describing many ways in which systemic seeing of race, class, gender, and privilege systems has transformed them and changed their views of education, their teaching and learning methods, and their classroom cultures.

4.) In 2013, the SEED staff will organize a National SEED Principals’ Institute for 30 school principals who have had or led SEED seminars in their schools. The goal is to collect their testimony on how SEED modes have changed them and improved their leadership, as well as teacher quality and student learning in their schools.   They will discuss ways in which SEED has helped their schools to make good on a key claim of most mission statements: to develop the potential of every student.  SEED will disseminate their testimonies about how prioritizing equitable education has served to validate, retain, and support students and parents in the most vulnerable groups.   SEED’s publication of their testimonies online will be a groundbreaking work by school principals about their own journeys of raised awareness and effective action toward lessening structural racism and classism in education.

An evaluation of the initiative will focus on these questions:

  • What aspects of the SEED Project have been most useful in addressing and lessening structural racism and other oppressive systems in schools where SEED has been implemented?
  • What aspects of SEED work have been most transformative for teachers, helping them to see both themselves and the cultural contexts of their schools and students, and create better equity?
  • What strategies have conduced to sustained, ongoing SEED work in public schools?

 

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.

*The National SEED Project is in its 25th year of establishing teacher-led faculty development seminars in public and private schools throughout the U.S. and in English-speaking international schools. The expansion initiative is made possible with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

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