Interactions between students and educators (teachers, counselors, administrators and staff) are embedded with non-verbal messages that convey different positions in the learning environment as well as countless invitations (to see intentions behind behavior and preferred relationships). As educators, we may believe our assumptions are accurate, unaware that we co-construct our relationship with the students in many ways, which embed certain positions in the classroom.
How do we position or reposition the students in ways that inhibit possibility? How might we vitalize our students’ ability to learn and thrive in our classrooms and schools, especially those who struggle?
Professor René Kristensen is committed to challenging the diagnosis model and instead has been developing new possibilities for ways educators might cope and relate with children struggling to join the communities in the classroom. He draws upon Appreciative Inquiry and the field of social constructionism to reimagine ways to support our most vulnerable and challenging students. His graduate students are discovering a great deal more potential among their students who’ve been labeled learning or behavior disabled.
René is interested in sharing his ideas with teachers, principals, counselors, consultants and others who want to develop possibilities for their students to flourish. René will share some success stories, provide information about “invitation and position” and then participants will engage in conversations about application. He hopes everyone will share stories of what is working for them in order to ignite cross-cultural learning to support children everywhere.