EdChange: Professional Staff Development, Consulting, and Scholarship for Equity, Diversity, Multicultural Education, and Social Justice AddThis Social Bookmark Button
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[Our Consulting Approach | Themes and Areas of Expertise
Examples of Our Workshops and Consultations | Previous Clients ]

Our Approach to Consulting and Staff Development

Collectively, EdChange has decades of experience providing workshops, presentations, assessment, training-of-trainers, and other forms of consulting and staff development for P-12 schools, colleges and universities, community organizations, government organizations, and others.

Paul consulting on equity, diversity, multicultural education with a school in Mexico CityOur goal is to move individuals and organizations toward philosophical and practical change in support of diversity, equity, and multicultural education. We recognize that every person, school, and organization has different needs -- that we're in different places on the road toward truly acknowledging diversity and providing equity. So we do not begin with canned programs and presentations. Instead we work with each individual organization (whether educational, community, governmental) to develop a deep understanding of your needs, then collaborate in the design of a relevant program. And we remain flexible during our workshops and presentations, continually assessing the needs and reactions of participants, ready to balance our initial approach with a group's changing needs. We believe this is the most effective way to help move people and organizations forward.

Another balance we attempt to strike is that between practitioners' desire for practical tools and the often overlooked need for the shifts of consciousness that enable people to use the tools in ways that support diversity and equity. We strive to provide participants with tools they can apply to their work immediately, but we do so through a process of contextualization. For example, in a curriculum development workshop we might share strategies for engaging students in critical dialogue about Jim Crow laws. But we might couch these strategies in a more robust set of challenges and questions. How can we facilitate more critical thinking throughout the curriculum? How can we facilitate more effective discussions about racism, not as a purely historical issue, but as a current issue? How can we connect this, and all of our curriculua, to the lives and experiences of our students?

Finally, we are dedicated to providing experiences that build momentum, that empower those with whom we work to continue the discussions and movement when we are no longer there. We recognize that many schools, non-profits, and other organizations do not have the funding to become reliant on outside consultants. We will help you and your organization develop the skills to stay on the path of progress.

Themes and Areas of Expertise

Although we build our workshops, presentations, and assessments around the specific needs of each individual or organization with which we work, there are a number of themes that we consider our collective areas of expertise. These include:

Introductory and Framework Building
Charlene consulting on equity, diversity, multicultural education with a school in Mexico CitySeveral organizations, schools, and universities have hired us to help them "begin the conversation" about diversity, equity, and multicultural education. These are organizations who may sponsor some early level diversity activities such as cultural fairs, but who need help framing a more forward-thinking vision of diversity and equity. In these workshops and consultations, we introduce concepts such as the complexity of diversity and community development for equity and social justice (as opposed to a sole focus on human relations). Participants are engaged in exercises and dialogues to develop a deeper understanding of their own world views and how these impact their work and relationships with colleagues, students, parents, and others.

Curricular/Pedagogical
We are often asked to help teachers diversify their curricula and think more broadly about how their pedagogies contribute to or detract from feelings of inclusion and equity in the classroom. In these workshops we help participants envision a conception of multicultural curriculum that pushes beyond heroes and holidays to classroom practice that engages all students with high expectations. In addition, we help participants develop practical strategies within a multicultural education framework to transform curricula so that it is truly inclusive, multicultural, and equitable. And we help them find ways to do this even under the contraints of standardization and high-stakes testing. (For more on our approach to multicultural curriculum transformation read our online articles Understanding Multicultural Curriculum Transformation and Steps Toward Multicultural Curriculum Transformation.)

Organizational Transformation
Some organizations are ready to move beyond introductory framework building and practical strategies toward organizational or institutional transformation. We work with them to craft more advanced workshops that engage participants in a process of critically examining their own workplace and work contextualized in a larger framework of equity and inequity, privilege and oppression, and power and disempowerment. We engage participants in the difficult conversations that are vital to moving forward as an organization. How do inequities play out in your school or community organization? What policy and accountability structures do you have in place to address these inequities? Who has a voice? Who is silenced and why are they silenced?

Haseena consulting on equity, diversity, multicultural education with a school in Mexico CityIssue-Specific
Is your organization grappling with a specific diversity and equity issue? We often conduct workshops focused on individual issues such as racial equity, gender equity, socioeconomic class equity, sexual orientation equity. These workshops tend to combine the broadening of participants' general understanding of the issue with dialogues and activities that encourage participants to think critically about their own roles in contributing to or challenging the inequity in question. We are prepared to get even more specific, helping you think critically and develop strategies for eliminating the racial achievement gap, sexual harassment, whiteness and white privilege, homophobia, and/or discrimination against immigrants.

Individual Awareness
Many of our consulting experiences involve the development of interactive workshops focused on diversity awareness for individuals. How do we understand the diversity that we all encompass and how that impacts our understanding of the society and world around us? How do we identify our own prejudices and biases and how they impact people even when we believe we are committed to treating everybody fairly? How can I be a real advocate for equity and diversity? Participants in these workshops are supported through a process of critical self-reflection and provided strategies for continuing their self-development around equity and diversity.

Leadership Development
In our field we often talk about the need to create workshops that help everybody move forward, regardless of their starting point. Too often, professional development opportunities related to diversity focus on the people at the very beginning of the awareness process and fail to facilitate growth for people who see themselves as potential leaders for equity and diversity. Do you have a group of people already dedicated to these principles? We will work with them on how to provide leadership and facilitate growth. We will also develop workshops specific to administrators, managers, and other school and community leaders.

Facilitation Training
We believe that the skill of facilitation -- in effective approaches for engaging people in dialogue about social justice issues -- is sorely lacking in our schools and communities. As a result, opportunities for growth often slide by because educators or community leaders are unsure of how to address certain issues. One of our specialties is dialogue facilitation and the preparation of others to facilitate the difficult dialogue, either as part of a dialogue program or as a tool in the everyday pedagogical toolbox.

Paul consulting on equity, diversity, multicultural education with a school in Mexico CityTraining the Trainers
In our attempt to help schools and communities continue their own development, we will work with you to develop a train-the-trainers experience through which we will help interested people in your organization or institution build the skills they need to conduct the sorts of workshops we conduct. How do I develop an effective diversity workshop? What are some effective strategies to facilitate the conversations? How do I manage and take advantage of resistance? We will work with you to develop these sorts of competencies in trainers who can continue the work in your school, organization, or district.

Community and Diversity Assessment
We will help you plan and create a community and diversity assessment process. We have immense experience writing original and context-specific surveys, planning and conducting focus groups and interviews, and organizing action research projects in schools and communities. We can also help you analyze the data, compose reports, and present the findings.


[Our Consulting Approach | Themes and Areas of Expertise
Examples of Our Workshops and Consultations | Previous Clients ]

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EdChange
Informing Ourselves, Reforming Our Schools, Transforming Our World

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Saint Paul, Minnesota 55107
Phone: 651.291.1102
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