Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
MissionAMAZE supports healthy identities, connected learning communities, and respect across differences by working at the intersections of anti-bias education theory, diversity and inclusion, and social emotional learning. This enables children to feel secure in their abilities to take risks and problem solve and navigate an ever-changing world while building connections with each other.
AMAZE knows that curiosity and learning are possible when students feel respected and visible within their own and their family's identities and experiences. We know that healthy relationships with other students and teachers and feeling a sense of belonging are key to a student's ability to succeed.
What We DoAMAZE provides developmentally appropriate curricula, tools, and training for early childhood programs and elementary schools. These programs are based in research and best practices and built in community with authentic voices of community members, parents, administrators, and educators.
AMAZE programs, staff development, and consultation support teachers to:
* Assess classroom social dynamics through the eyes of students, looking for the early signs of isolation, targeting, and exclusion
* Provide effective prevention and intervention strategies that build connection and understanding where there was none
* Provide windows and mirrors through quality books that help students learn about each other while seeing themselves or their experiences reflected in classroom materials
* Initiate guided conversations about each other's lives and experiences
* Create safe, welcoming space for children to be curious and ask questions about differences
We do this by helping teachers build power within students and by enhancing knowledge, practice, and compassion among the adults who educate them.
Research shows that most teacher education programs do not provide the comprehensive training needed to help break down stereotypes and build community with respect and compassion across differences in today's diverse classrooms. Without this training, teachers can unintentionally pass along the biases and stereotypes within our society both directly and indirectly through tone, attitudes, and actions. We know that given practical tools and support, teachers will create a learning environment that values all students.