Summer Learning: EdTalks 2018 looks at curriculum

Four presentations that could get you rethinking how you approach classroom content

By Ted McEnroe, Director of External Communications

In June, we kicked off a summer learning series driven by the presentations made by Greater Boston educators who took part in this year's Boston EdTalks. Last month, the focus was on the power of writing. This month, we are diving more deeply into the curriculum - how teachers and administrators are changing the way we approach the knowledge being presented in the classroom. 

These four teachers are looking at how changing perspective, recognizing differences and introducing new elements to classroom practice can inspire and engage students and give them knowledge to better navigate a changing world. 

Watch them here and visit to see all the 2018 EdTalks.

Alvaro Peters: "Knowledge of Systems: Dismantling 'The Master's House'"

In "Knowledge of Systems: Dismantling 'The Master's House', Alvaro Peters of KIPP Academy Lynn highlights a new strategy he took to teach students how to change their world, after discovering that they couldn't even see some of the barriers they might face because of their race, gender, color, or other traits. As Peters notes, "We have the power to either educate or shelter (our students) from the systems that rule their lives." Provide them with the Knowledge of Systems and they become less likely to fall victim to systemic issues.



Simone Miles Esteves: "Reclaiming My Mind: Perspective-Taking through Metacognition"

In her talk, "Reclaiming My Mind: Perspective-Taking through Metacognition," Simone Miles Esteves of Buckingham, Browne and Nichols School notes that the most important lessons we learn to become better world citizens are often hard and uncomfortable. Because of that, we often avoid them, but in doing so we bury many important lessons for teachers and students. By recognizing and taking new perspectives through metacognition we can support the development of more empathetic kids who will engineer and sustain an equitable and socially just world.



Regine Celius: "Dignifying Traumatized Students: Classrooms that Can"

Regine Celius of Boston's Epiphany School knows that many of our students come to school burdened with trauma and other issues in their past and present. In "Dignifying Traumatized Students: Classrooms that Can," she suggests rather than simply creating a "safe space" in schools, we need to create places where children are dignified, and where the community embraces trauma sensitivity. This empowers students to tap into the strengths that help them navigate their individual circumstances. 



Michelle Ciccone: ""From Etiquette to Power: A New Type of Digital Citizenship Education"

Engaging in the digital world means more than understanding the technology and being polite, says Michelle Ciccone of Christa McAuliffe Charter School in Framingham, Mass. The greater benefit comes when we train ourselves and our students to use the internet powerfully. In "From Etiquette to Power: A New Type of Digital Citizenship Education," she shares her ideas to get students beyond simply being polite and respectful, to helping them see the ways that the internet can be used to improve society at large, and their role in using it well.