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HGSE to Offer New Program on Creating Caring Schools

New professional development program — Making Caring Common: Promoting Caring and Respect in Students, and Preventing Bullying and Behavior Problems — will be held from April 28–30, 2015.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education has announced a new professional development program for middle and high school educators to learn how to develop more caring, ethical children. This intensive three-day program, Making Caring Common: Promoting Caring and Respect in Students, and Preventing Bullying and Behavior Problems, will convene school- and district-level teams from across the United States. The initiative is offered in collaboration with Making Caring Common (MCC), a national effort to make moral and social-emotional development priorities in child-raising and school. It will be held on the HGSE campus April 28 – 30, 2015. Applications for the program are now being accepted.

“We’re excited to offer this hands-on program and to work closely with educators from around the country to develop and refine concrete strategies for developing students’ social, emotional, and ethical capacities that are key not only to being a good friend, family member, and citizen, but also to school and work success,” said Stephanie Jones, associate professor and codirector of Making Caring Common. “While many schools have launched anti-bullying projects or brought elements of socio-emotional learning into their classrooms, we’re offering educators a chance to tackle the issue of school climate in a comprehensive way, one that is driven by data about the student’s perspective.”

The new program will introduce strategies and processes to help change school culture, address challenging behaviors like bullying, and promote students’ caring and respect. Prior to attending the program, participants will be asked to administer a survey to their school’s students and staff in order to measure climate and culture. The data collected will be discussed in teams during the program, alongside Harvard faculty, expert practitioners, and fellow school leaders. By the end of the program, participants will have an easy-to-implement action plan with strategic interventions to immediately use in creating positive changes within their schools. The program is chaired by Senior Lecturer Richard Weissbourd, codirector of MCC.

Applications for Making Caring Common: Promoting Caring and Respect in Students, and Preventing Bullying and Behavior Problems, are now being accepted online. While it is highly encouraged that educators attend as a school-based or district-wide team, both individuals and teams are welcome to apply. For more information or to apply, visit www.gse.harvard.edu/ppe/mcc.