June 22nd, 2021
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT / 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. PDT
Will include asynchronous + synchronous work over Zoom
At MSON and R.E.A.L.® Discussion, we believe it’s time to empower all student voices in academic discussions.
This summer, join us at a One-Day R.E.A.L. Discussion Intensive to equip teachers to do exactly that!
This joint venture by MSON and R.E.A.L®. is a reflection of our shared belief in the necessity and power of a targeted intervention to equip faculty to raise all our students’ voices - whether discussion is taking place in a traditional or online classroom.
R.E.A.L.® is a method for "demystifying" student-led discussion that breaks discussion down into the basics: Relate, Excerpt, Ask, and Listen. It uses best practices from DEI and CBL to ensure every student feels heard and challenged.
The impact of R.E.A.L. is stunning - but those results are possible because of R.E.A.L. student course packs: a combination of an online orientation and printed R.E.A.L. portfolio that scaffolds students use of the method for an entire year. Schools who invest in training faculty in the R.E.A.L. method are committing to implementing the R.E.A.L. curricula in the 2021-22 school year. This requires an investment of $35 / student in addition to the PD fee. We know that's a big ask, and we are more than happy to share ways we have seen schools make it work. When it comes to teaching students how to have inclusive and rigorous discussions, the stakes are too high not to dream big!
Through MSON, you will receive the following benefits in collaboration with R.E.A.L. Discussion:
*Student materials are required for all students using R.E.A.L.® Discussion. MSON and R.E.A.L.® are deeply committed to equity and inclusion. If you require financial assistance, please contact Hello@RealDiscussion.org.
Which teachers are best fit for R.E.A.L® Discussion PD?
Humanities Teacher + (Aspiring) DEI Practitioner
Teacher + (Aspiring) Faculty Coach
Humanities Teacher + (Aspiring) "Student Life" Leader
"There is no question that in today's world, learning through real-time dialogue is a critical capacity -- and one that can be especially challenging for Gen-Z students. We are excited to partner with MSON to help all students develop the skills they need for great discussion.
We are tired of what we see as a false dichotomy between learning activities that promote belonging and those geared towards rigor. R.E.A.L. does both, bringing best practices from DEI into academic contexts like Humanities classrooms. We know that in order for discussion to be truly rigorous, every voice must be fully heard and every student must be challenged to grow."
-Liza Garonzik, R.E.A.L. Founder + PD Instructor
"The R.E.A.L. seminar showed me ... that when you empower students with clear strategies to participate in productive discussion, the richer and more diverse the content and voices in the conversation become. We spend so much time striving for deep, organic discussion but don't quite know how to create it. REAL shows you how. As a facilitator, Liza … has a great balance between learning, processing, and applying these techniques with concrete examples. You can walk away from the course with strategies that can immediately impact your classroom.”
Brunswick School (Greenwich, CT)
“Even in a year that has been the most challenging of my 20+ year career, I am grateful for learning about R.E.A.L. this past summer with Liza Garonzik. Not only did it help me better consider the HOW with student-led discussion, but it also helped better reveal the WHY. In our current technological age and political climate, in which everyone is talking but no one seems to be listening, discussion skills are more and more vital. Is there a more important calling for our times? For our students? R.E.A.L. provides a tangible framework for the essential skills -- relating, excerpting, asking, and listening -- that matter in and far beyond my English class."
The Westminster Schools (Atlanta, GA)
"At the Shady Hill School Teacher Training Center, we value R.E.A.L. discussions about real issues. We have invited Liza to lead workshops for apprentice teachers and courses for faculty members. Whether presenting in-person or online, Liza empowers teachers to amplify student voice and brings resources that prompt deep reflection. Today, she is sharing the R.E.A.L. model with students and teachers all over the world. Now, more than ever, we need to teach students how to listen and bring kindness, empathy, and respect to others even when they disagree. Liza models this in the PD she leads and curriculum she designs -- REAL-ly!"
Executive Director, Shady Hill Teacher Training Center
"The R.E.A.L. Discussion Online Course was perfect for helping me envision how an equitable discussion would look in my classroom (even this year in our hybrid model) and then breaking it down into concrete, teachable skills for my students. Many of my students are mystified when it comes to reflecting on what makes a good discussion - even the chatty ones! I love the way the language of the four R.E.A.L. skills makes it possible for all students to talk specifically about what they’re working on in discussion and how it helps move the conversation forward."
Shady Hill School (Cambridge, MA)
“Our integration of REAL has shifted discussion away from a stream of individual comments and towards a collaborative intellectual adventure that our classroom community forges together. In the era of hot takes, it's helpful to ground students in the values of listening and asking… Overall, I'm grateful for the ways in which REAL gives me and my students a shared language and set of values about skills that enrich discussions. It also makes grading discussion easier and less ambiguous because I am able to give more specific and actionable feedback to students regarding their contributions to the class conversation."
The Hewitt School (New York, NY)
"In giving names to the tasks and skills that students practice in the healthiest discussions, R.E.A.L. not only empowers and unites but also draws teachers together around a clear center. In pursuit of greater equity, rigor, and community, schools today strive to make curriculum coherent and practice intentional across departments and grade levels: R.E.A.L. offers teachers a tangible shared language through which to structure that effort."
The Chapin School (New York, NY)
“R.E.A.L. ensures I will hear every student’s voice, and, maybe more importantly, that every student will be heard by her classmates. That is simple but that engagement never gets old. R.E.A.L. also ties directly into analytical writing, which students appreciate, and I love. It just makes their so much writing better! I’ve talked with all of our teachers about using it next year.”
Atlanta Classical Academy (Atlanta, GA)
“One night of DQ Prep and one discussion later, students are already reporting feeling better prepared for and more productive in conversation with their peers. We have a ways to go but it’s exciting to see them already feeling better about themselves. I’ll keep observing and will bring it to other teachers next week after my students and I finish Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time next week!”
Greenwich Country Day (Greenwich, CT)
"I started using R.E.A.L. this year after the fully asynchronous training last summer. I am impressed by how much better our discussions are now, even during a pandemic and with students both in-person and remote. R.E.A.L. makes students more engaged with the reading - comprehension scores have gone up! - and helps them feel more connected to each other. I could never go back to me basic book discussions of the past!
Pembroke Hill School (Kansas City, MO)