Envisioning and creating a society that is more just and equitable is often attempted as part of a regular practice in a community of people with different perspectives, identities, and experiences. But what needs to occur in the social-emotional dynamics of those communities of practice to maintain engagement, hope, psychological safety, and social and emotional learning (SEL) skill-building? In this presentation, Dr. Wanless will describe a framework for facilitators cultivating communities of practice, and will include examples from her research (with K-3rd grade teachers), teaching (with preservice early educators), and service (national and local).
About the Speaker
Shannon Beth Wanless began her career as a YMCA Summer Camp Director and a Head Start Teacher. She worked in urban and rural settings, and with children whose families showed incredible resilience in the face of the never-ending challenges of being refugees or being undocumented in the U.S.
She earned a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of Michigan, a doctoral degree in Human Development and Family Sciences at Oregon State University and a post-doctorate with the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching & Learning (CASTL) at the University of Virginia. During that time Shannon was a Fulbright scholar for one year in Taiwan and researched the ways that social-emotional skills and self-regulation develop in a collectivist culture.
Dr. Wanless is now the Director of the Office of Child Development, a large university-community partnership center in the School of Education, that is focused on ensuring that all children thrive. For more news about the Office of Child Development, visit https://www.ocd.pitt.edu/ or like it on Facebook.
Having been in Pittsburgh for almost a decade now, Shannon continues to focus on young child’s development and the adults that help them thrive. Her current work is on social justice and equity (SJ&E). She explores ways that children, preservice teachers, and organizational leaders develop SJ&E skills and how to create classroom, school, and organizational climates that reflect SJ&E tenets. Shannon currently teaches Attentional Teaching Practices (ATP), PSYED 1004, which is part of the CASE program for early childhood preservice teachers.