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Creating Collegial Relationships for Social Justice - UCLA Lab School TIIP 2

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"To engage in dialogue is one of the simplest ways we can begin as teachers, scholars and critical thinkers to cross boundaries, the barriers that may or may not be erected by race, gender, class, professional standing, and a host of other differences." (hooks 1994, 24).

Why Peer Coaching and Social Justice at the UCLA Lab School?

Cyrene at ULS

If we acknowledge the value of teaching to a global view of the child—considering background, strengths and areas for growth—it follows that a child needs to develop a global view of the world, including context, possibilities and challenges. To be prepared to explore these issues with children, teachers must first engage themselves in inquiry about social justice theory and practice. This inquiry must take place in a safe and intellectually stimulating space with trusted colleagues.  It is our belief that through careful planning, implementation and reflection teachers can develop the skills to engage students to think critically about issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity.


With our TIIP 2 Grant Funds, our team explored the following key questions:

  • How can peer coaching support us as we explore innovative ways to address concepts of social justice in our classrooms and community?
  • Where are the opportunities within our current curriculum that afford exploration of social justice issues that are relevant to our students and will push our practice forward?
  • Considering our responsibility as demonstration teachers, in what ways can our peer coaching model serve as a template for other teaching teams at our school and beyond?

 UCLA Lab School TIIP 2 Team

                                 ASCD 2011 in Las Vegas

Each member on our TIIP-2 team represents a different grade level and classroom teaching team. We bring a variety of expertise and experiences to our school. We meet regularly with our own teaching partners and levels to plan, do research, and conduct professional development. Previously, two or more of us have worked on various curricular committees and outreach institutes together. This fall, our entire team wrote and received a mini-grant from the Cotsen Foundation. With those funds, we have begun our investigation of inquiry based learning, and have started reading about various coaching models.


Project Details

In order to work "alongside" each other on the grant work while actually working in different classrooms and sites, our team felt it was important to Build Collegial Relationships.

As we developed our grant proposal, we considered multiple models for furthering our professional development goals in ways that supported our desire to work from a place of respect and support. Click here to see what the principles of Peer Coaching are and to read our reflections on this learning process for our grant team.

Deliberate and meaningful integration of Social Justice concepts and practices into our teaching is what we are striving for each day.  Here you will read about steps we have taken to tie-in what we believe with our work with students. 

Interest Based Inquiry 

TIIP 2 Funded Activities

Using TIIP funds, our team was able to attend trainings and conferences. The following is a list of events attended:

Sharing our CCRSJ Work

  • Christopher Wilson created a Prezi to describe our grant work and led the presentation at the CONNECT Research Session at UCLA Lab School

  • We presented our first year of TIIP work to our staff at a research professional development meeting in April of 2012.

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