thinkLaw’s Educational Equity Equation Series
Prioritizing the academic success of low-income students of color is a critical piece of the educational equity puzzle, but it alone will not provide the transformational impact these students need to transcend generational poverty, systemic racism, and countless other barriers in an unjust society. To ensure students are not just equipped to succeed in an unfair world that often requires them to work twice as hard to get half as far, entire school systems, students and families must be part of an intentional effort to help our students become the change our society needs.
thinkLaw’s Educational Equity Equation series approaches educational equity with a racial justice lens utilizing an internal understanding of power, privilege, and anti-racism, and teaches practical, but powerful techniques that leverage pedagogical practices for educational justice AND social justice.
Request a quote HERE to chat with our team about how we can partner.
Learn about The Educational Equity Equation:
What is the Educational Equity Equation? [Video]
Educational Equity Equation Program
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are learning more about the deep inequities within our educational system. We know that prioritizing the academic success of low-income students of color is a critical piece of the educational equity puzzle. We also know that academic success will not provide the transformational impact these students need to transcend generational poverty, systemic racism, and countless other barriers in an unjust society. To ensure students are not just equipped to succeed in an unfair world that often requires them to work twice as hard to get half as far, entire school systems, students and families must be part of an intentional effort to help our students become the change our society needs.
How the Program Works:
The Educational Equity Equation is comprised of three critical components:
Approaching educational equity with a racial justice lens requires an internal understanding of power, privilege, and anti-racism, along with a personal commitment to leverage these in pedagogical practices that fight racism and ensure learning outcomes. This component of the partnership includes three workshops with school leaders and classroom teachers:
No More Silence: Tools for Educators to Actively Fight Racism
It is impossible to detach the fight for equity in education from the broader struggle for racial justice in this country. At a time when racial tensions are flaring up nationally at a level unseen in generations, one thing is abundantly clear: racism cannot and will not be wiped out without active involvement from educators committed to the cause. This panel discussion and action planning workshop provides the practical tools to understand how to become more than “not racist. ” Rather, leaders and teachers will learn how to become anti-racist, active participants in ending racism by creating and implementing a plan to do so within their scope of power. As a result of this workshop, educators will craft a plan that will serve as a living document to be updated through the course of this professional development cycle.
Thinking Like A Lawyer: Practical Strategies to Teach Critical Thinking to All Students
Brilliance is distributed equally. but too often, opportunity is not. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented the strongest possible case for prioritizing critical thinking – but we still treat it as a luxury good. To ensure equity, we must remove the systemic barriers far too many students face to unleashing their critical thinking potential. This workshop outlines powerful, but practical tools educators can use immediately to close the critical thinking gap. With easy-to-integrate, curriculum-agnostic “Thinking Like a Lawyer” strategies, teachers can help their students l transition from asking “what?” and “how to?” to “why?” and “what if?”
Beyond Inclusiveness: Implementing Culturally Responsive Pedagogy as an Accelerator for Real Learning Outcomes
Education equity cannot just be about closing achievement gaps. It must also be about shattering achievement ceilings. When it comes to students of color living in poverty, we often fail to recognize, nurture, and unleash the brilliance they bring to our classrooms and communities. Often, attempts to shift towards culturally responsive pedagogy result in important, yet surface-level shifts such as selecting books and historical figures to study who reflect the identity and experiences of our students. We must go beyond the surface, and this workshop provides the powerful, but practical culturally-responsive instructional strategies and classroom management approaches that maximize student voice and purposefully shift power to students, moving beyond the myth of meritocracy and toward the “hidden” curriculum of success which address how to network, navigate systems, tell stories etc.
thinkLaw will work with educators to help teachers seamlessly incorporate “Thinking Like a Lawyer” strategies into existing curriculum, where applicable.
Educators will receive, be trained in, and implement thinkLaw’s curriculum as a seamlessly integrated supplemental resource in as many grades as possible. thinkLaw’s curriculum is based on real-life legal cases for grades 3-8 and on fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and international folk tales in grades K-2. thinkLaw will work with you to determine the best way to incorporate thinkLaw into the school schedule, for example as a resource for blocks of the day often reserved for social emotional learning (SEL) such as morning meetings, advisories, or homeroom periods, enrichment/intervention blocks, writing-intensive instructional blocks, and other areas where Socratic Circles and similar higher-order thinking activities are commonly performed.
Students can only obtain the kind of education that transforms their lives and galvanizes their power to be the change in their communities if that education includes their families and communities.
1. Why is the Milk in the Back of the Supermarket?
As their first teachers, parents are uniquely qualified to teach their children essential critical thinking skills, mindsets, and habits critical for 21st century success. Too often, our families undervalue the tremendous critical thinking assets they bring to the table in managing a household and performing basic “adulting” skills. This session equips parents with concrete tools they can use every day to encourage the development of their children’s critical thinking skills and to understand the limitations of the phrase “full potential” when it comes to their children.
2. Defeating “I Don’t Care Syndrome”
To help parents win the motivation battle, this workshop addresses how to support children who have unlimited potential but struggle with underachievement and a lack of motivation. In this session parents explore the nature of intrinsic motivation and how to prevent, confront, and overcome the “I Don’t Care” Syndrome with a plan that helps children fulfill their true promise.
Hack-a-thon for Social Change:
This workshop provides an opportunity for students to practice several “Think Like a Lawyer” critical thinking strategies as they 1) narrow down the two main problems facing youth in their communities through a collaborative, inclusive, and strategic progress of working with each other; (2) conduct a “sprint” research session to determine the scope of and potential root cause(s) behind the problem and also to identify the stakeholders responsible for and most impacted by it; and (3) identify the most promising high impact, low effort solutions to the problem, including strategies for gaining community input, revising and refining the solution as needed, and a concrete strategy for presenting the change to appropriate decision- making authorities and community stakeholders. This culminates with students implementing the plan in their communities. This workshop will be co-facilitated by thinkLaw and your teachers so that they can also be a part of this change effort.
The Education Equity Equation Conversation Series [Free]
Did you know that Colin has a conversation series with leading experts all about executing The Education Equity Equation in our school systems? The series is focused on practical tools for education leaders to ensure they are no longer leaving genius on the table. Check out the The Educational Equity Equation Conversation Series HERE.