Course No. ED474d, ED574d

Students who respond to us the least might actually need us the most. This course introduces an approach that prepares teachers to counter the harm inflicted when students internalize the negative stereotypes society aims at black, brown, native, and other groups of marginalized students. In our course text, The Innocent Classroom, author Alexs Pate reveals how internalized stereotypes create a sense of unwarranted guilt in these students that adversely affects their engagement in learning.

This course is designed to help teachers create individual relationships that can guide our hard-to-reach and marginalized students to shed this sense of guilt, restore their innocence, and re-engage in learning. The Innocent Classroom approach is natural and intuitive. Be prepared to learn a strategic process for building relationships with your disconnected and underserved students that will create a classroom environment of trust, safety, recognition, and acceptance. 

In the past decade, the Innocent Classroom organization has trained 10,000 teachers in this approach. Innocent Classroom trainers may visit with us for an occasional Zoom call to support us in this work. The course is well-suited for individuals and works especially well for teams of school-site or district colleagues.

This course is appropriate for teachers K-12.

Course text: The Innocent Classroom by Alexs Pate, available used on Amazon for under $15.

We advise you to review and download the course syllabus before registering. Syllabus
  • Gain an understanding of how children of color and other marginalized students internalize stereotypes that produce what Alexs Pate calls guilt, and how this affects children's consciousness and attitudes toward school.
  • Learn a process of identifying a student's good - what a hard-to-reach child needs a teacher to recognize to gain their trust.
  • Learn to strategize ways of creating authentic relationships with children who are marginalized by stereotypes and other life circumstances. 
  • Gain an understanding of the value of students' innocence -- what remains when the burden of guilt has been lifted.
  • Examine "laboratory" classrooms and other examples for developing strategic responses to a student's good.
  • Learn strategies for nurturing and protecting students who regain their innocence and understanding of their own good.
  • Learn to create a classroom environment where marginalized students can leave their sense of guilt at the door and are free to express their curiosity for learning.
  • Learn further strategies to create a classroom environment nourishing connections with and among all students. 

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