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Overview

CLASE provides Latino-oriented expertise, short and long-term professional development and workshops regularly for schools, media, community groups, non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, courts, and more. However, a key to CLASE's model to reducing the achievement gap is the professional development of teachers.

About the program

Most of the educators in the "new South" are ill-prepared to deal with the particular needs of the growing number of English language-learning children and other at- risk students, particularly immigrants and children of immigrants, in their classrooms. Over the course of the last 9 years, CLASE has developed teacher professional development initiatives such as workshops, school partnerships, and teacher summer institutes (including a unique study abroad opportunity for teachers integrating language goals into science instruction).

In 2010, CLASE was awarded a $2.9 million grant through the US Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences to implement and study the impacts of the Instructional Conversation pedagogy on the academic success of English-language learners.

Instructional Conversation is a culturally responsive pedagogy that is ideal for teachers concerned with how to meet state standards because it focuses not only on academic achievement, but also language acquisition by increasing the rate and intensity of interactions with peers and expert teachers. By collaborating with districts across the state, CLASE has developed a sustainable Instructional Conversation professional development program investing in each system's most valuable asset toward reducing the achievement gap: their teachers.

CLASE now has a menu of in-depth professional development options for teachers, instructional coaches and districts, including summer institutes; training and coaching opportunities focusing on the cognitive, linguistic and cultural theories behind IC; and the practical issues involved in implementing this pedagogy in the classroom. We are working with three districts across North Georgia and have tailored our initiatives to their unique needs. Teachers in Georgia who have been introduced to this pedagogy through the CLASE model say they are able to cover more material in greater depth, and our research has shown that their English language-learning students show significant academic gains in English-language arts, math, science, and social studies based on state assessments.

Invitation to our 2018 Summer Institutes

Learn more and find out about upcoming sessions on the Summer Institutes page.