2018-2019 Graduate Catalog

EDUA 5612 Prioritizing Safe Learning

Studies show that exposure to school violence can impair students’ cognitive functioning, social development, psychological well-being and health. Though it is evident that safe, supportive learning environments are an essential prerequisite to academic achievement and improved student learning outcomes, districts and schools often prioritize standards-based instruction and standardized test scores. This course challenges that model, and calls on educators to put safe learning first. This course is designed to provide educators with the knowledge and tools to prioritize safe learning, and successfully cultivate supportive classroom environments where all students can feel safe, engage, focus on learning, and thrive academically.

Throughout this course, you will explore the question, “How can I create safe and supportive learning environments for my students?” You will reflect on your teaching practice, share best practices with fellow educators, and explore evidence-based strategies to create safe and supportive learning cultures that facilitate collaboration and foster academic achievement. You will explore evidence-based violence prevention strategies inspired by the Cure Violence and GMACC organizations, and discuss practical ways to apply these strategies to the classroom. You will also examine the benefits of trauma-informed teaching strategies, and plan to implement these strategies in your classroom.

Upon course completion, you will be able to apply practical tools and strategies to build trusting relationships with all students, create positive classroom environments, and effectively recognize triggers to violence and de-escalate conflict. You will also learn skills to help students self-identify and self-manage emotions, develop social awareness, and foster healthy relationship skills. These new skills transcend the classroom and will not only help students thrive socially and academically, they will also help them to thrive personally and professionally throughout their lives.

At the end of the course, you will have a comprehensive action plan of practical tools and strategies, tailored to meet your particular needs and those of your students that you will be able to immediately apply to your professional practice.