News from the School Reform Initiative – December 6, 2017

Annual SRI Facilitator Retreat – Registration is Open

We’re excited to announce that we’ve built our organizational capacity to offer the annual SRI Facilitator Retreat in four different locations across the country this year. In response to your feedback, we’re designing an agenda to meet the professional development needs of facilitators who:

  • work to develop internal capacity for change in schools and districts, across and among cities, states and regions, and internationally;
  • facilitate adult learning that extends beyond the introduction of SRI tools and processes to encompass the intentional and sustained achievement of SRI’s mission;
  • want to learn more about creating conditions for engaging conversations about inequity, examining assumptions and beliefs, and identifying and interrupting systemic barriers to equity in schools;
  • coach, teach, and facilitate the work of SRI, and who seek opportunities for reflective discourse with others engaged in similar work.

If you’re an SRI facilitator, we encourage you to join one of these retreats and stay connected to our work and continue to grow in your fierce commitment to educational equity and excellence.

Click here to learn more about the retreats and to register for the one that fits your schedule! Space is limited at each site, register ASAP to guarantee your attendance.

SRI Critical Friendship in the Early Childhood Classroom

SRI affiliate Kendra PeloJoaquin shares how the principles and practices of SRI critical friendship are impacting the teaching and learning in their child care center.

From Kendra: Our child care center provides full time care for children age 0-5 to the families of Harvard University. Ours is an anti-bias, play-centered pedagogy in the tradition of the learners and educators of Reggio Emilia.

In our tradition, we talk about “provoking” children’s interest; catching their attention with a sticky problem, or a fascinating challenge. We have a weekly “teacher provocation” that started when we built a studio and teachers were intimidated by variety of art media. One teacher from each class gathered for 90 minutes to build relationships with clay, wire, watercolor, paper etc and with one another.

Soon our provocations shifted to center upon reading, talking and playing about new pedagogical practices and ideas. Inspired by Project Zero, Carter and Curtis’s Thinking Lens for Reflective Teaching and Mcdonald’s The Power of Protocols, we created our own protocols for children, teachers and families to support deep thinking and reflection. Now, we’ve reached a shared organizational culture where veteran staff support newer teachers, so introductory, workshop-type meetings aren’t as relevant or necessary.

This summer, our pedagogista attended a week long  SRI Practices and Principles training with Gene Thompson Grove. When she returned, our weekly provocations became meetings of four Intentional Learning Communities. Here is a blog post from teacher, Cynthia Evans, about her experience of presenting to her ILC.


Do you have news to share? Interesting things happening in your area? Please let us know so we can share with our community! Email Chris Jones,

Thank you,
Kari Thierer, Heidi Vosekas, Chris Jones, and Beth I Graham
On behalf of School Reform Initiative

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