Inclusion Everywhere

How the Haring Center Helps Others Create Inclusive Communities


“What can the Haring Center do for us?” is the most common question Haring Center Director of Early Learning and professional development team member Brittney Lee is asked when meeting with school districts, early learning programs and recreational programs.

Her answer is simple:

“We make individualized professional development plans for any organization that wants to create opportunities for inclusion in their program.”

Her response is as broad as the Haring Center’s toolbox for supporting outside organizations to create sustainable, inclusive education programs.

“When I meet with a new client, the first thing we do is define what the desired outcome is for their program” she said. “Some organizations want us to work with individual teachers on very specific skills and some are looking for more comprehensive program design and training to support new inclusive classrooms - we can do both.”

Each professional development plan is created to meet the unique needs of a program, and the training strategies used are designed to impact maximum change.  The professional development techniques used by Haring Center trainers are based on the science of adult learning and the most current research in teacher training. The goal of using a wide range of training strategies is to ensure that teachers are able to use the inclusive practices as successfully as possible in their classrooms, which doesn’t always happen with traditional training methods.

“We know that with traditional training strategies, only about 5% of teachers are going to be able to take what they’ve learned and use it in their classrooms on their own”, said Lee.

The Haring Center uses this individualized approach to professional development with Kids Co., a Seattle-based preschool with multiple locations. Kids Co. contacted the Haring Center with a specific goal: to be more scientific in their approach to childcare. Haring Center trainers provided consultation and workshops to develop a measured approach.

"We didn't have any tools, didn't know about data collection and how to do it,” said Susan Brown, President of Kids Co. “What they give is concrete, and the training offered in not only theory, but actual strategies about how to make working with kids and the outcomes better."

In addition to the use of cutting-edge training practices designed to impact maximum change in the classroom, organizations that work with the Haring Center also benefit from the Center’s extensive knowledge and experience in the field of inclusion. The Haring Center’s professional development team uses their inclusion framework, a comprehensive, research-based framework built on 50 years of experience and research on inclusive education at the Center to guide their work with centers and schools who seek to build inclusive educational programs. The framework breaks down training in inclusive education into three categories that they see as the cornerstones of a sustainable inclusive program: Inclusive Leadership, Community Building and Instructional Practices.

The Haring Center professional development team offers a range of training services, including:

Trainings – A presentation to develop knowledge and awareness of specific skills or concepts. This format includes large-group lecture, small-group discussions and skill demonstration.

Workshops – A more advanced training format that targets skill development with practice, demonstration and evaluation.

Consultation – An ongoing form of training that evaluates current professional development needs and creates a specific strategy to address those.

Coaching – An ongoing form of professional development that uses the practice-based coaching method to ensure that teachers are able to successfully use the skills they’ve learned in their classrooms.

For more information on the Haring Center’s professional development and training services, contact pdutrain@uw.edu.