The Chèche Konnen Center is dedicated to transforming learning and teaching in public schools for children and youth from historically non-dominant communities. Chèche Konnen means "search for knowledge" in Haitian Creole, a name created by the first group of collaborating teachers in 1987 to reflect the spirit of broad-minded inquiry that suffused the work of students, teachers, and researchers alike.

In its research and development activities, the Chèche Konnen Center seeks to create expansive designs for learning and teaching that (1) engage students from historically non-dominant communities in deep, generative, and meaningful learning in the sciences, humanities and arts in ways that build on the rich and varied sense-making practices they use in navigating everyday life, and (2) involve teachers in collaboratively learning in, from and for their classroom practice by investigating subject matter understanding, student sense-making, and historically structured inequalities rooted in race, culture, language, and class on the same plane of professional inquiry.

The Chèche Konnen Center works in close collaboration with teachers, schools, and students in pursuit of its mission. The Center's approach to research, development and design builds on ongoing analysis of intersections between the heterogeneity of meaning-making practices in the sciences or other academic disciplines and the heterogeneity of meaning-making practices in which students routinely engage as they navigate life. With careful attention to the varied forms and functions of meaning-making practices in which students participate, the Center has designed classroom environments that foster complex, engaging, and rigorous learning for students historically placed at risk in school and society. In these ways, the Center develops strong evidence to counter long-standing, historically structured deficit conceptions of the academic abilities, life experiences, and developmental trajectories of students from non-dominant communities.

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