Amending the Soil: Preparing to Cultivate Transformational Professional Development
Kilmurray, Felicity Rose
O'Neil, Joy Kcenia
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This poster, Amending the Soil: Preparing to Cultivate Transformational Professional Development, summarizes noteworthy learning experiences in my journey as a first year doctoral student in the field of educational sustainability. I selected this program because of its focus on social justice, pluralistic democracy, and systems thinking, each of which can help to create more equitable and sustainable educational systems. My professional background in teaching special education and reading often connects me to students who experience a poor fit between their needs and the social and environmental factors that govern many K-12 schools in the U.S. I entered this program with concerns about the disconnection between the prescribed curriculum and students’ lived realities as well as distress over the degree to which systems and educators employ coercive methods of behavioral control that reproduce inequitable social norms. Many of the concepts, philosophies, and theories that I learned about in the past year spoke to my concerns but also left me with a sense of hope for solutions. With that in mind, I am interested in exploring the role that professional development for in-service teachers can play in creating more just, equitable, and sustainable ways for members of educational communities to learn and grow together.