Pedagogy of Confidence: Cultivating Equity Consciousness through a Focus on Strengths

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The May Dean's Forum is presented in collaboration with the University of St. Thomas School of Education and the African American Registry.

Date & Time:

Wednesday, May 1, 2019
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM





University of St. Thomas - Minneapolis Campus
Thornton Auditorium
1000 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403

No food or beverage is permitted in the auditorium.

"Pedagogy of Confidence: Cultivating Equity Consciousness through a Focus on Strengths"

The innate potential of students labeled as “low achieving” is often unrecognized or neglected due to focusing on “deficits” instead of focusing through the lens of an equity consciousness. Equity consciousness is catalyzed by belief in the innate potential of all students for engagement and high intellectual performances, an understanding of how learning for high intellectual performances transpires and a commitment to practices that elicit them! Hear what can be manifested when every teacher starts with identifying and activating strengths as the focus and goal. Understand what effect it has on dissipating “disbelief” and eliminating persistent gaps between innate potential and achievement.

Dr. Yvette Jackson will share the cognitive and neuroscience research and examples from the field presented in her book, Pedagogy of Confidence, that supports her theory that when all students (especially underperforming students and students of color) are “gift-ed” with High Operational Practices™ that reflect belief in their potential, elicit their strengths, mediate their intelligence, engage their cultural frames of reference and provide the conduit for authentic voice in their learning, they are inspired for self-directed learning, investment in high achievement, personal agency and self-actualization. Pedagogy of Confidence is the basis for her work in assisting educators in developing an equity consciousness as well as the basis for her books, Aim High, Achieve More: How to Transform Urban Schools through Fearless Leadership (Jackson & McDermott, 2012); Unlocking Student Potential: How Do I Identify and Activate Student Strengths? (Jackson & McDermott, 2013); and Mindful Practices: Cultivating Heart Centered Communities Where Students Focus and Thrive (Mason, Rivers-Murphy, and Jackson, 2018).

About the Speaker

‌‌‌Dr. Yvette Jackson

Dr. Yvette Jackson is the author of The Pedagogy of Confidence: Inspiring High Intellectual Performance in Urban Schools, which received the 2012 ForeWord Reviews’ Silver Book Award. She is internationally recognized for her work in assessing and eliciting the innate learning potential of disenfranchised urban students. Dr. Jackson was a student of the internationally renowned cognitive scientist, Dr. Reuven Feuerstein. She has applied his guidance in cognitive mediation to her research in gifted education, mindfulness and neuroscience to develop High Operational Practices™ that engage and elicit high intellectual performances and self-determination from underachievers. On September 15, 2012, the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences Educators Voice Awards honored Dr. Jackson as “Education Policy/Researcher of the Year.”

Dr. Jackson is an adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has been a visiting lecturer at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, Stanford University and Rutgers University. She serves as an advisor to the Dean of Education for American University and the United Way of New York City. She has been a keynote presenter at national and international conferences including the Feuerstein Institute, Israel, Portugal Department of Education, Thinking Schools International, United Kingdom and the Omega Institute.

Dr. Jackson currently serves as the senior scholar for the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, founded at the College Board and Teachers College, Columbia University. She works with school district superintendents, administrators, teachers and students across the United States and internationally to engage and apply an assets-focused equity consciousness to create environments of belonging, value, agency and investment that affirm belief in the innate desire and potential of all students for transcendence: to develop and engage personal strengths for self-determination and contribution to society. 

Dr. Jackson formerly served as senior scholar for the Panasonic Foundation and the director of gifted programs, director of professional development and executive director of instruction and professional development for the New York City Department of Education.

She has been published in numerous books and educational journals. She has co-authored Aim High, Achieve More: How to Transform Urban Schools through Fearless Leadership and Unlocking Student Potential: How Do I Identify and Activate Student Strengths for ASCD with Veronica McDermott. Her latest book, Mindfulness Practices: Cultivating Heart Centered Communities Where Students Focus and Flourish, was co-authored by Christine Mason and Michele Rivers-Murphy.

Dr. Jackson’s mission is to rekindle in educators the passion and beliefs that led them to choose education as their career. She is driven to provide and promote pedagogy that supports educators in fulfilling their potential as committed, “gifted” teachers and administrators.

About the Dean's Forums

The Dean’s Forum builds off of the work of Columbia University, Teachers College’s Racial Literacy Lecture Series. In this ongoing series, the School of Education community will participate in candid conversations about race, equity and education.

All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.