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Designing Schools with Unconditional Positive Regard

Session 3
Alex Shevrin — Centerpoint School

In this session we’ll imagine what school could look like if designed around the concept of unconditional positive regard for students - in other words, if everything we did communicated the message, “I care about you, you have value, you don’t have to do anything to prove it to me, and nothing’s going to change my mind.”

First, we’ll get on the same page about unconditional positive regard, why it matters that our students know we care, and what’s possible when students are cared for really and truly in school.

Next, we’ll take a look at common aspects of schools - facilities, course design, policies, structures - with this lens: “Do we do this in a way that communicates care to our students?” If the answer is no, we’ll brainstorm some solutions and share some success stories from our current settings. We’ll think big but also imagine some practical shifts we can do on Monday.

Out of our discussion, we’ll craft a doc of suggestions that schools can use to consider their practices from this lens. We’ll make this available and identify some possibilities for future collaboration around making schools a more caring place for all.

Conversational Practice

We'll be brainstorming and developing some practical ideas toward the goal of a doc we can share with others considering how to transform their schools into places that communicate care in all they do. Conversation will be structured and facilitated but draw on the knowledge and experience of participants.

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