Event Title:

Conference to Restore Humanity! 2024: Vision Into Reality

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July 22-25, 2024, Online (https://www.humanrestorationproject.org/conference); 11:00-4:30PM ET (UTC-4) with recordings/asynchronous communication

Learn from teachers, practitioners, and school leaders who are transforming their classrooms in unconventional ways, showcasing what's possible with engaging, human-centered learning. CTRH! 2024 is aimed at K-12 and college educators seeking to implement human-centered practices in their classroom.

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In December 2023, Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang and her team at USC’s Center for Affective Neuroscience, Development, Learning, and Education released Weaving a Colorful Cloth: Centering Education on Humans’ Emergent Developmental Potentials. In it, Immordino-Yang argues we are on the verge of a fundamental shift in our understanding of human learning in relation to our models of education; one she likens to the Copernican Revolution. As Europeans began to unsettle their Earth-centered model and its supporting institutions and ideologies in the 16th century, so too must we re-evaluate the fundamental assumptions of our model of education in light of new evidence, context, and values. “The result is an overwhelming period of what appears like unsurmountable complexity and turmoil, social and political polarization, inequity and calls for justice,” writes Immordino-Yang, “From this daunting and turbulent confluence, however, also emerges an appetite for fundamental conceptual change.”

Meanwhile, the Pandemic Age of the 21st century continues to careen from one crisis to the next, taking education systems with it. Educators are directed to control student bodies to mitigate a behavioral crisis, offered piecemeal SEL add-ons to meet a mental health crisis, and sold one-size-fits-all curriculum packages to resolve an academic one. Immordino-Yang argues that, “Simply changing what we do, or what we measure, is important, but not sufficient. Until we understand and see from a new perspective, fixes will be temporary, complicated and awkward, like Western, pre-Copernican descriptions of the movements of heavenly bodies.”

“There comes a point,” she writes, “when some of the field’s most basic models of learning no longer serve society well; we have reached that point.”

In 2024, Conference to Restore Humanity is turning Vision Into Reality. To do this, we have put together a flipped keynote lineup, learning tracks, virtual school tours, and events from educators who are making this modern education revolution a reality:

Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang makes the neurobiological case for progressive education rooted in her groundbreaking work on affective neuroscience.

Dr. Carla Shalaby demonstrates the power of education as the practice of freedom, honoring young people’s rights to expression, to self-determination, and to full human being.

Dr. Sawsan Jaber elevates the voices of Arab and Muslim students as an advocate for global equity and justice.

Orchard View Schools' Innovative Learning Center showcases healthy, sustainable community learning spaces for teenagers and adult learners alike.

Beyond our flipped keynotes, participants will be invited to join week-long learning journeys constructed around interdisciplinary inquiry and global social justice.

Navigation & Transformation: Interdisciplinary Inquiry Across Domains

‍Led by Trevor Aleo, this journey will explore ways to invite students to engage in authentic and (inter)disciplinary intellectual work. The inquiry-based approaches detailed in this session will help you equip students with the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind needed to be knowledge producers capable of communicating their ideas across a variety of mediums, modes, and forms.

When we invite students to become video essayists, documentarians, product designers, zine editors, etc. we go beyond content coverage and application—we teach students how to navigate different communicative contexts and transform the hearts and minds of others.

Unveiling Injustice: Palestine, Global Social Justice, and the Final Stronghold of Imperialism

Led by Abeer Ramadan-Shinnawi MEd., this journey is a thought-provoking workshop designed to explore the complex dynamics of imperialism in the modern world, with a specific focus on Palestine. This session aims to shed light on the ongoing struggles for social justice, oppression, and sovereignty faced by Palestinians, highlighting the broader context of imperialism's brutal impact. Participants will engage with historical and contemporary perspectives, analyze the intersections of global power structures, and discuss strategies to advocate for equity and human rights.

Through interactive discussions, historical documents, case studies, and critical reflections, this workshop seeks to empower attendees with a deeper understanding of the challenges and resilience of the Palestinian people, including tools to implement in classrooms and the role of how international solidarity in combating imperialism's last bastion reflects the solidarity for global social justice.

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‍"I am convinced that if we continue to prepare children for the world we have now, we will necessarily reflect and reinforce the everyday harms and assaults of punishment, confinement, and exclusion. Instead, we have to begin to prepare children for the world we want." - Carla Shalaby

The need for a paradigm shift akin to a Copernican Revolution in our understanding of human learning has never been more apparent than in the Pandemic Age, where crises abound and traditional educational models falter. However, innovative, conscientious, and responsive models of education – like those put into action by our conference leaders – realize a vision of education that is not merely a means of imparting knowledge, but a catalyst for societal transformation and global justice.

As Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang urges us in Weaving a Colorful Cloth, the mission of reshaping educational systems, of turning Vision Into Reality, is not just necessary but imperative for a sustainable and just future:

“To move toward a more sustainable and just future for society and the planet, the policies that guide and structure our work in systems of education must also be aligned with these insights. The implications for how we redesign educational systems, and for how we rethink classrooms and the profession of teaching, are equal parts exciting and daunting. The task ahead is undoubtedly one of the most critical of our time.”

We hope you'll join us virtually, July 22-25, to help restore humanity to education, together! https://www.humanrestorationproject.org/conference

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