Intentionally Equitable Classrooms that Improve Student Learning

Professional Development
Offered by: 
Professional DevelopmentStruggling Learners


All of us would like to help our students be successful. Yet in spite of best efforts, historical achievement disparities by race, socio-economic class and other factors persist. And many "average" learners seem to get by without optimizing their potential. How can we teach more equitably so all students do better?

We feel that a social justice lens, including elements of social emotional learning, is key to both understanding and undoing this dynamic. This training combines this perspective with the most recent contributions of cognitive science in uncovering the ways humans think. Learners and educators alike bring their own cultural patterns, assumptions and socialized behaviors to the classroom. Participants will see how empathy and genuine care and respect for the learner's life experience build relationships at the heart of an intentionally equitable and inclusive classroom culture, which in turn becomes the springboard for enhanced academic performance. Thinking and teaching with this guidance will help us better reach all students, in particular culturally and linguistically diverse learners.

Participants will walk away not only with an enhanced framework for understanding how to create a more equitable classroom environment, but also specific strategies to help it become "real."

This workshop will explore:

  • Kahneman's "fast thinking-slow thinking" paradigm
  • Cultural patterns of thinking and socializing behavior
  • Implicit bias, language use and assumptions
  • Motivation as an outgrowth of identity and self-image
  • Empathy versus sympathy at the heart of classroom relationships
  • How teachers can also recognize and counteract the inherent bias in the curricula, the Common Core, and school structures

Audience and Grade Level

Teachers and Administrators, Grades K - 12


15 PDPs


Future training dates will be announced here. If you have questions or are interested in offering this training on-site, please contact us.


  • Ken Pransky has been a teacher and teacher educator for 35 years in the US and abroad, teaching, coaching, and training, specializing in helping teachers work with struggling learners, including English learners.

  • Albert Mussad

    Albert E. Mussad, Ph.D., serves as a Leadership and Instruction Continuous Improvement Specialist at the Collaborative for Educational Services. He travels nationally to facilitate professional development for school leaders, teachers and other licensed educators in instructional leadership; English learner education; world language and bilingual education; secondary literacy education; and teaching students in poverty. Albert also facilitates curriculum development and strategic planning, evaluates educational programs, and provides instructional coaching. Dr. Mussad led the training-of-trainers component of the Leading Educational Access Project (LEAP), the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's initiative to support educators to optimize outcomes for students living in poverty. He has taught K-12 English learners and high school Spanish. Albert served as an assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction and in the role of elementary school principal.

For more information, contact:
Events Coordinator
413.586.4900 x5981


A maximum class size is set for each course and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If the number of registrations for a course exceeds the maximum seats available or is too low to be able to conduct a quality learning experience, CES will inform you of available options.

Course Cancellation

If you wish to cancel your registration, please submit a request in writing (via mail, email or fax) no later than 7 business days before the workshop’s start date. After that, there are no refunds or billing adjustments.

In the event that a course is cancelled by the Collaborative for Educational Services, we will notify you as soon as possible. Please be sure to provide your best email address and phone number so we can contact you. Although every effort is made to avoid last minute cancellations, if an emergency arises, we will do our best to reach you at the phone number and email address you provide. 

Inclement Weather

Any delays or cancellations are posted online at You may also call 413.588.5979 after 6:30am for information about classes that day.