Educational forum a success

Serving all children in a socially just learning environment was the topic of a symposium last night sponsored by the Center for Educational Justice at the University of Redlands’ School of Education.
The symposium, “Culturally Proficient, Culturally Responsive Learning Environments” examined how educators can infuse culture and race into discussions about student achievement, how to develop culturally proficient leadership and how K-12 education can foster culturally responsive instruction.

“Culturally proficient leadership is about creating conditions where values and beliefs held by individuals, and policies and practices of a school and district enable that person or school to interact effectively in a culturally diverse environment,” said Delores Lindsey, professor of Educational Administration at California State University, San Marcos.

Jose Lalas, director of the Center for Educational Justice at the University of Redlands, who organized and moderated the symposium, emphasized that, “Educators must be on the front lines of closing the education achievement gap between races and cultures. We must create and find appropriate classroom strategies and examine how school leadership can help win the ongoing battle for educational justice. Despite the strides public education has made we need to push and pull the system so that every child has an equal opportunity to succeed in public education.”

Scott Wyatt, with the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Office, urged educators who are building professional learning communities to recognize that they must have a culture of collaboration to achieve their collective purpose of learning for all.

“Such a culture values diversity and ensures that each individual has a definite and equal role within the professional learning community,” he said.

About 100 educators and those interested in educational justice attended the seminar held at the University of Redlands Gregory Hall.

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