David’s Workshops for Videregående Teachers and Teachers-in-Training

Teaching Argumentative Writing in a Divisive Age 
In an era defined by polemic arguments and an unwillingness to concede, a reasoned argument seems quaint. However, thoughtful argumentation is the best way to respond to disagreement and is integral to understanding your own values. This workshop aims to use the current divisive climate to advocate for classical models of argumentation that rely on shared values, structure, and understanding. Throughout this workshop, teachers should learn teaching methods and strategies used throughout American classrooms, discuss ways that can relate to the classroom, and discuss charged topics this material can be used to defuse.

21st Century American Literature – Writers, Styles, and Topics of Today
In the beginning, there was Anne Bradstreet, followed shortly thereafter by Mark Twain, and it is all a mess from there. This workshop untangles the knot of American literature, organizing its convoluted history into tidy historical trends. The workshop will focus on the innovation and storytelling of a wide range of writers depending on the grade and ability level of the students or the interests of the teacher, connecting their works to American identity and culture. Teachers will leave with a set of texts based on their content area, level, and historical period, along with ways to include those texts in their teaching the next day. 

Diversify, Disrupt, and Decolonize 
English and literature courses are, in many ways history courses as well – history from the perspective of the dominant groups. Thankfully, communities, scholars, and students have continued to call for a more representative literary canon that calls for windows, doors, and mirrors into the experiences of groups who are underrepresented or marginalized in literary study today. This workshop will review methods by which teachers can adapt, adjust, and change their reading lists. It will also provide starter kits to diversify course readings, disrupt incomplete understanding of literary history, and decolonize classrooms by paying particular attention to the experience and narratives of indigenous communities.

Human Rights Education – Schooling About, Through, and For Human Rights
Ever since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948, it has remained the best tool for international peace. In the years following, the United Nations enacted protections for minority populations, women, children, and indigenous groups. Even more recently, teachers have recognized the value of using human rights as a framework for learning. In this workshop, teachers will learn or review the history of human rights, as well as ways that they can inform classroom practice This workshop is designed to give teachers practical pedagogical changes and systemic reforms to their classrooms.  

Teaching English in Diverse American Classrooms
American classrooms are defined​ by their wide range of racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural diversity. Students from all over the world, with a wide range of experiences, come together to learn a shared set of practices and values. This shared experience is best manifested in language acquisition. In this workshop, teachers will learn about how linguistic and cultural diversity has been the strength of American education, driving much of the social and economic success the country has experienced. The workshop will also draw parallels between American and Norwegian contexts, looking to identify best practices. 

Multicultural, Multilingual, and Culturally Sustaining Education
Schools are the great unifying space. Throughout the life of a citizen, school represents the place where different communities and cultures come together. In this practical workshop, teachers will learn about different frameworks for embracing the power and opportunity of diverse classrooms, exploring multicultural education for diverse public life, multilingual education to support connection to global society, and culturally sustaining education to emphasize the wisdom and value that diverse communities bring to the nation. Ultimately, teachers will leave with a set of practices and approaches to integrate into their classrooms.

Centering Critical Thinking in Teaching and Learning
There is no more challenging skill to teach students at any grade level than critical thinking. Moreover, there has rarely been a time where emphasis on it has been more vital. This workshop looks at the current need to center critical thinking in education in the American context and connects it to three related objectives – communication, collaboration, and creativity – suggesting that these four ideals can serve as the baseline for courses, class environments, and grading. Together, these objectives hope to produce American students who engage in society in ways that strive for community, progress, and connection. Teachers will leave with examples from American schools incorporating critical thinking standards and having brainstormed additional activities, projects, and modules to apply to their classes, as well as resources for further reading and methods to adjust their classroom teaching going forward.

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David’s Workshops for Students

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