EduTalks explores tipping points in education

March 11, 2020

A host of justice-centered efforts to transform education and expand learning opportunities for all students were showcased during the University of Washington College of Education’s most recent EduTalks event, “Tipping Points: Leveraging Change in Education.”

The event, which took place Feb. 27 at the Burke Museum, featured talks by UW researchers and local education leaders highlighting work with significant potential to improve young people’s educational experiences. 

“The work our presenters shared speaks to the many ways the UW College of Education is working to ensure every child can engage in learning that opens boundless opportunity,” said Dean Mia Tuan. “We are honored to partner with countless educators, schools and communities in this work to create better futures for our young people.” 

Watch each of the EduTalks, along with the event’s closing reading, below.

"The messy, but necessary, work of identity caucusing in learning to teach"

Anne Beitlers, senior lecturer and director of the UW’s Secondary Teacher Education Program, shares how a process known as caucusing is strengthening future teachers’ understanding of who they are and how their own identities around race, gender and sexuality intersect with the diverse identities of their students. Through caucusing, future teachers are equipped to better serve the rich diversity of kids they’ll be responsible for as teachers.

"Families as fellow leaders on the journey to educational justice"

Ann Ishimaru, associate professor, explains how addressing persistent racial inequities in education can be achieved by creating more equitable forms of collaboration among non-dominant families, communities and schools.

"Can big data help foster a more culturally responsive teaching workforce?"

Associate Professor Min Sun and Clover Codd (MIT ‘99), chief human resources officer for Seattle Public Schools, discuss a partnership that’s using data to strengthen supports for a more diverse and culturally responsive teaching workforce.

"Elementary science's metamorphosis toward educational justice"

Jessica Thompson, associate professor, details her work with Seattle Public Schools to fundamentally change how science is taught and learned, with a focus on better serving culturally and linguistically diverse students who have historically been underserved by science.

"Caring for our caregivers"

Associate Professor Kathleen Meeker discusses the importance of supporting the well being of early childhood professionals — many of whom are dealing with challenges such as food insecurity — so that they can help early learners get a strong and fair start.

"Principal as the turning point"

While the impact teachers make on learning is well-understood, there’s less appreciation for how principals can foster learning environments that empower students. Joanna Michelson, director of teacher leadership and learning at the UW Center for Educational Leadership, shares her work to help school leaders grow cultures of rigorous teaching, learning and leading.

"STEM education: Racism's canary in the coal mine"

STEM classrooms are usually thought of as race-neutral spaces, even though students of color often face dehumanizing experiences. Assistant Professor Niral Shah discusses how teachers and administrators can counteract racist narratives and create STEM learning experiences that recognize the full humanity of students of color.

"Climate Justice Education: A hopeful pathway towards a just and sustainable future"

Washington state’s ClimeTime effort supports teaching about climate science that helps young people see themselves as problem-solvers. Deb Morrison, a research scientist with the UW Institute for Science + Math Education who is helping lead the initiative, delves into the principles underlying ClimeTime and its work with thousands of educators across the state.

"Seventh generation decision making"

Denise Juneau, Seattle Public Schools superintendent, shares how the district is working to undo the legacy of racism and looking forward to doing justice for future generations of students.

“People in Profile”

Siamak Vossoughi, the College’s artist-in-residence, gives a reading from one of his short stories set in a school where students step into the shoes of significant human rights leaders of the past century — and put what they learn into practice.

The UW College of Education’s EduTalks series features nationally-recognized researchers who partner with schools, communities and organizations to address the most pressing issues in education. Watch previous EduTalks online.


Dustin Wunderlich, Director of Marketing and Communications