Events & Media
Featured Event: 2021 Innocent Classroom Virtual Conference.
Join the Innocent Classroom Community on December 4 2021 at 9:00 am CDT.
This year’s theme is Movement for Innocence: Hope, Belief, Action.
Click to Register
September 29, 2021 at 9:00 am CDT Watch Closing the Relationship Gap: Innocence & Learning Loss
On September 29, 2021 the Innocent Classroom team hosted a national conversation on Innocence and Learning Loss. We had an inspiring dialogue focusing on how we must transform the current narrative about our students and the impact of the past three school years. Participants emphasized that we need to center children did learn, how they […]
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- Educational Leadership November 2020To Be Young, Gifted, and Innocent
- Listen to PodcastWhere Do We Start?: Dismantling the Racial Barriers to Teaching Students of Color. BAM Radio Podcast with Alexs Pate
- ASCD UpdateInnocence Mission: Interview with Alexs Pate
- MPR NewsDocumentary chronicles struggles, successes at north Minneapolis elementary school
The Innocent Classroom: Dismantling Racial Bias to Support Students of Color
When children of color enter their classrooms each year, many often encounter low expectations, disconnection, and other barriers to their success. In The Innocent Classroom, Alexs Pate traces the roots of these disparities to pervasive negative stereotypes, which children are made aware of before they even walk through the school door. The cumulative weight of these stereotypes eventually takes shape as guilt, which inhibits students’ engagement, learning, and relationships and hurts their prospects for the future.
If guilt is the primary barrier for children of color in the classroom, then the solution, according to Pate, is to create an Innocent Classroom that neutralizes students’ guilt and restores their innocence. To do so, readers will embark on a relationship “construction project” in which they will deepen their understanding of how children of color are burdened with guilt; discover students’ “good,” or the motivation behind their behaviors, and develop strategic responses to that good; and nurture, protect, and advocate for students’ innocence.
Ultimately, students will reclaim their innocence and begin to make choices that will lead to their success. Teachers will renew their commitment to their students. And the current ineffective system can give way to one that reflects a more enlightened understanding of who our children are–and what they are capable of.Purchase Book