Tool #9

Lead Webbed Conversations – Conversations with Cognitive Coaches


Talking with other professionals about what one has learned and the personal meaning that has taken place from webbing information found in multiple Whitewater Learning modules can be extremely reinforcing and fun for educators.

 Learning community conversations and problem solving events are enhanced when research supported content is embedded in authentic content and supported to practice scenario found in school based settings.

 Unlike silos of learning often found in formal initial licensing programs, Whitewater Learning strives to walk in the authentic shoes of practitioners, where interactions with students, colleagues and parents are always multifaceted and complex.

 Educators can look for connections among a variety of examples.

The image is formed is the spider forming a strong and intricate web along the water’s edge of a rapid river.

Here is an example.

 When reviewing the modules Factors Affecting Success of Native American Students: History, Culture and Globalization© by content expert Cathy Lathrop and Traumatization of Youth and Adolescents: Implications for Educator Practices and Student Success© by content expert Heather Lindstrom a user commented that the scripts, though about two different topics, sounded like they were authored by the same person about the same topic. Yet, upon inquiry, neither author knew each other.

 The webbing of these two topics is profound because the experiences of the people in each module are so similar. Part of the history of Native American learners is that when young, the children were taken from their homes and raised in boarding schools where teachers were charged with “Americanizing” the students through cutting the sacred hair of boys and beating children into accepting the Euro-American concept of becoming educated in the United States in place of the very different Native culture.

 The parallel content is the module on traumatized youth who strive to make sense of “school” after witnessing and experiencing unspeakable experiences in their childhood— experiences that spill over into their existence in all aspects of their ongoing lives including school, social interactions and mental health.

Discovering and discussing these connections were meaningful, interesting and reinforcing to both participants engaged in the conversation and professional development process.


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