Tag Archives: equity

Using SEL for Equity in PBL

Recently I had so much fun recording an extended interview with Jared O’ Leary at #CSK8 Podcast. I have to admit this is probably my favorite podcast that I have done due to it being a longer format so that we can dive deeper into concepts and ideas. Here’s the description:

In this interview with Mike Kaechele, we discuss dismantling prejudices through projects, how to situate project-based learning within the community and for local impact, what can be learned when a project fails, the difference between projects and recipes, why social and emotional learning (SEL) is important, lessons learned teaching a variety of subject areas, differences between equity and equality in education, and so much more.

I have recorded quite a few podcasts over the years so here’s a complete list if you would like to listen to more:

Pulse of PBL

Interested in learning more about how to teach SEL competencies in a PBL framework? Check out my book with practical strategies to teach, practice, and assess SEL skills while students solve meaningful problems in their community.

Learn with me!

If you are interested in how your school can use a PBL framework to teach SEL skills. I would love to have a conversation on how I can help. I am scheduling PBL & SEL workshops for this summer right now. Check out my workshop page or drop me an email at mikejkaechele@gmail.com. I would love to chat and co-plan meaningful PD for the educators at your school.

One and done Professional Development is ineffective. Here’s a great little post about questions you should be asking before you hire a consultant. I would be glad to develop a vision with you!

Taking a Stand Does Not Imply Bias

Preparations for peaceful BLM March on top and January 6th on bottom. Compare and Contrast. What do you notice? What do you wonder? Via Andre Daughty

A horrible event happened last week at the Capitol as people stormed the building with the intent of preventing Congress from counting the electoral votes and officially confirming Joe Biden as the next president. I, along with most Americans, watched stunned as the day’s events unfolded. It was an attempted coup to maintain Trump in power; an insurrection against the processes laid out in our Constitution and legal precedence.

Then I watched and listened as hundreds of teachers discussed how to handle this in the classroom the next day. As an online facilitator of high school math, I do not personally have classes in the traditional sense to discuss this with. But the past few days I have read tons of social media posts about teachers being told not to talk about it at all or to remain neutral.

One can not remain neutral on issues of equity and justice.

I have grown weary of the call to avoid controversial topics and stay neutral. Silence is compliance. There are many things in history that do not have two equal opposing sides: slavery, genocide, imperialism, colonialism, segregation, etc. There is only one side to these events that is fair, just, and equitable. Educators should help students understand how oppressors justified their actions in history without giving credit to their arguments. Done properly it would be a warning against similar tactics used today.

What happened last week can not and should not be spun as Patriots standing up for their rights. We had a fair election, and these people did not like the results. Their actions place them in the cult of Trump. He has become their leader without questioning. He does not reflect traditional conservative values. He only manipulates his followers for power.

Educators don’t take stock in conspiracy theories. We stand up for truth, justice, and decency. Please do not let students defend positions based on speculation and hearsay. It is our job to present truth to students even if they and their parents don’t want to hear it. We can not necessarily change their hearts and minds, but we can force them to confront the truth. Teachers should interrupt and challenge any student who presents conspiracy theories and false information with questions of its source and legitimacy. We can not allow bigotry, racism, sexism, or any other discrimination in our classroom.

If a classroom already has a culture where students defend opinions with facts from reliable sources, then this is not a huge leap. If teachers do not step up, especially in conservative communities, the myths and lies of white supremacy will continue to perpetuate our society for the following generations. If you don’t stand up for truth, who will?

Here is one list of resources to discuss in the classroom. There are many more available online. Here are some thinking routines that would be helpful for students to process this and similar events. Standing up for truth doesn’t need to be confrontational, but it does require us to consistently speak the truth in love and not give space for fallacies, repeated lies, and discrimination. It is not about sharing your personal political views, but about not giving space for bigoted, unsubstantiated opinions.