Elizabeth’s Workshops for Videregående and Ungdomsskole Students

 School Choice: Is it really a “choice” for everyone?
U.S. public schools have an interesting history. Not only is the United States a country that does not agree on one standard curriculum, but different schools are founded on different educational philosophies. The U.S. presently has options such as homeschooling, non-schooling, neighborhood schools, charter schools, and private schools. But, these schools are not funded equally and often times this funding depends on the demographics of the neighborhoods. Unfortunately, unequal funding leads to unequal opportunities and impacted academic progress. In this interactive workshop, students will explore the different kinds of school students can choose in the U.S. and discuss the way each type of school is funded. In multiple different group activities students will examine the equity issues in each type of school to determine whether school choice provides access to ALL students.
Group size: 12 – 35 students. Room for moving around the classroom and interacting with different groups.  

The Power is in the Pause: Contemplative Practices and Stress
Today many students are practicing contemplative techniques in U.S. schools. But why? What is all the hype? Research on contemplative practices has shown that regular practice is one way to decrease anxiety, help with focus in the classroom, and help students better deal with hard emotions. In this experiential workshop, students will practice different contemplative techniques that can quickly settle the nervous system and help students better concentrate on academics. Students will discuss what they noticed after each practice and connect their experiences to the brain research. We will explore the question, “What benefits do contemplative practices have on my brain and my well-being?” This workshop will include whole class discussion, mini-lecture with visuals on brain science, whole group practices, small group discussions, movement, writing, and drawing.
Group size: 12 – 35 students.  Room for walking around and access to the outdoors.

Let’s Get Real: The History of Unequal Education in U.S. Public Schools
The goal of U.S. public schools is to offer a free public education to “equalize the playing field” and offer every child the same opportunities for advancement. But teacher-student demographics, teacher biases, school funding, differing curriculum, and institutional discrimination means that opportunities differ across schools. In this interactive workshop, we will analyze the history of inequities and discrimination in schools (including racism, linguicism, classism, sexism, ableism, transphobia, etc.), laws and policies that attempt to lessen these inequities and laws and policies that have contributed to these inequities. We will analyze what these inequities look like in schools and how they impact students.  We will explore the question, “How can we change the inequity inherent in U.S. school systems?”  This is an interactive workshop involving many different group activities.
Group size: 12 – 35 students. Room to walk around and interact with different groups.

Can anyone really be president?
The U.S. has an interesting history of choosing presidents. The U.S. has had politicians, actors, and business people as presidents. This interactive workshop will examine the requirements for becoming president and the requirements for voting for president – and the issues of justice within these regulations. Students will examine the electoral college and how a person actually wins the presidency. This workshop will investigate the candidates for the 2024 presidential election. Students will examine different facts about each candidate and examine each candidate’s stance on important issues such as gun control, women’s rights, and health care. This workshop is interactive and requires many small group activities. 
Group size: 12 – 35 students.  Room for moving about the classroom and interacting in groups. 

Wait! How come I don’t get that? Unequal School Funding in the US
High Schools in the U.S.A.
Many students are curious about high schools in the U.S.A.. How many classes do students take? What are grades like? How are sports integrated into the schools? Do schools have a sports line and vocational line? Can students study art or music or theater? What do students eat? What do students do for fun? Many students also have a lot of stereotypes about American students. This workshop is designed to talk to students about schools. We look at stereotypes and talk about what is true and what is not. We look at daily life in high school and then examine the inequity in American public schools and how this impacts students.
Group size: 12 – 35 students.  Room for moving about the classroom and interacting in groups. 

Under Pressure: College Sports in the U.S.
College athletes in the U.S. face tremendous pressure. Not only do they follow a rigorous athletic schedule, but must maintain a certain G.P.A. to retain their scholarships, must be respectful to professors, peers, teammates, and coaches, regardless of the situation, and must face the pressure of performing, not only for themselves, but for the team. This interactive workshop will walk students through the typical day of a college athlete from waking at 5 am to practice, attending classes all day, jumping on a bus to travel, completing homework on the bus – all while stoically dealing with coach and peer pressure. We will examine how many athletes cope with this stress, and how some athletes have turned to mindfulness meditation practices to deal with overwhelming pressure.
Group size: 12 – 35 students.  Room for moving about the classroom and interacting in groups. 

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Elizabeth’s Workshops for Teachers and Teachers in Training