The Widening the Circle Conference is meant to be an intensive introduction to Hmong and Native American Indigenous cultures, education and critical pedagogy.
Designed mainly for beginning teachers and those new to culturally responsive teaching, this cohort of learners will gain knowledge of critical models of how to implement the practices, principles and pedagogy discussed throughout the conference. This is an excellent professional development opportunity.
Participants will explore the ways in which professional practice is seemingly neutral and yet simultaneously value-laden and shaped by normative perspectives of power relationships. Educators will learn how to better understand the hidden ways in which education can indeed be problematic for many students.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction considers Widening the Circle as an element toward Professional Development and Growth for license renewal.
Widening the Circle is designed to follow traditional values in bringing people together to provide a culturally responsive model of multicultural and Indigenous education to assist all teachers and students in developing a critical consciousness.
The conference provides participants with interpersonal interactions, presentations and multiple opportunities to meet with native and Hmong elders and educators to build relationships that will provide a solid basis through which to learn about Native and Hmong cultures, contemporary and historical issues, sovereignty, Indigenous educational practice and educational policy.
Participants will learn to become aware of and deconstruct their biases and stereotypes to see how their practice and policies is value laden and can be problematic for many students, as well as have the opportunity to authenticate resources and learn positive strategies and ideas to infuse a more meaningful and inclusive curriculum through a critical framework to use within your class, educational policy, or social justice work.
The conference is open to the public, anyone interested in education, critical pedagogy, public policy, Native or Hmong cultures and issues or those seeking to simply learn more.