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Personalization practices in isolation can shift instruction, but often will not sufficiently empower all students. At Highlander Institute, we realized our school change efforts must start by acknowledging systemic inequity in order to be successful. Join us to hear how professional learning centered on sociocultural awareness can cultivate a more nuanced understanding of students and families, confront personal bias, and move us beyond the limited scope of who school is best designed to serve.

Session Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand the theory of change behind the Culturally Responsive & Sustaining Pedagogy Framework.
  2. Define sociocultural awareness and learn how this concept informs teacher expectations for who is carrying the cognitive load in the classroom.
  3. Hear from different stakeholders about the impact of the Awareness domain on teacher, student, and family relationships.


  • Stephanie Garcia, Highlander Institute