Three teachers from the Cherry Creek School District have been selected as 2018-19 teacher fellows for the inaugural year of "New Perspectives: Deep Understanding Through Deliberation." The program is sponsored by Street Law, a nonprofit organization that creates classroom and community programs that teach people about law, democracy and human rights worldwide.
Derrick Bergstrom, a social studies teacher at Campus Middle School, and Kelly Jones-Wagy and Tim Lorenz, both social studies teachers at Overland High School, are among just 26 educators from across the country selected through a highly competitive application process. The teacher fellows will spend the 2018-19 school year learning to master the use of deliberative discussion to build positive relationships across differences.
"I am very excited for the opportunity to once again work with Street Law," Derrick Bergstrom said. "Their programs give us the opportunity to bring student voices and opinions to the forefront of our classrooms. I am excited about this upcoming seminar, as it will open up more conversations between our students, staff and community."
The New Perspectives program was designed in response to reports from teachers that their communities and classrooms feel divisive and polarized and that students and adults struggle to talk with and listen to one another. The fellowship aims to provide teachers with training to help people with different beliefs and backgrounds converse with one another about important issues in a civil and productive way.
The New Perspectives teacher fellows will travel to the Washington, D.C. area in July to participate in a training institute with experts in the field. Upon returning home, the fellows will organize and facilitate four deliberations for students; two of the four deliberations will include adult members of the wider community deliberating with and alongside students.
At the conclusion of this program, Street Law will share the teaching materials created from this project for use in classrooms and communities across the country.