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June 21, 2021, 9:30 am - 11:30 am EST
July 21, 2021, 9:30 am - 11:30 am EST
August 17, 2021, 9:30 am - 11:30 am EST

R.E.A.L.® Discussion


Inclusive Pedagogy that Fosters Equity, Belonging, and Growth

About R.E.A.L.® Discussion and This Cohort

Discussion is important – in our classrooms and the world. It’s at the heart of everything from great humanities curricula to healthy democracies and fulfilling relationships. Yet, sustained group conversation is hard – and the pandemic has made it even harder – for Gen-Z students. Too many students in our schools feel as if they don’t belong, their voice doesn’t matter, and they don’t have what it takes to be successful in discussion.

R.E.A.L. ® (Relate. Excerpt. Ask. Listen.) Discussion offers middle and upper school teachers a unique opportunity to investigate how student-led discussion can be used as a tool to foster equity, belonging and growth for all students’ voices in rigorous academic contexts.

At the core of this training is the belief in the necessity and power of a targeted intervention to equip faculty to raise all students’ voices. R.E.A.L.® Discussion helps all students find their voice within academic discussion. It’s a system for naming the skills we need for real conversation and empowering Gen-Z to learn them.

R.E.A.L.® bridges diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and competency-based learning (CBL) best practices and gives teachers a method for making class discussion a place for all students to belong, learn and grow.

Through your experience in this AISNE Cohort, you will:

  • Learn how to “demystify” discussion (to borrow a Grading for Equity term) – a celebrated, but often implicitly culturally coded, way of learning in our schools – in order to advance equity and inclusion goals.
  • Acquire the R.E.A.L.® training you need to ensure all students feel heard and challenged in class discussions
  • Understand the student experience of using R.E.A.L.®
  • Build a community of like-minded practitioners

R.E.A.L.® aspires to catalyze the discussion about dialogues both within and beyond schools, including online spaces.

Join this summer cohort to come together with fellow middle and upper school educators in your shared commitment to activate and sustain R.E.A.L.® Discussion within your 2021-22 classrooms. Periodically throughout the upcoming school year, participants of this AISNE Cohort will be invited to continue to come together to share and discuss this work.

Additional Details About Activating R.E.A.L.® Discussion Within Your School

This special AISNE Cohort offering brings the R.E.A.L.® Discussion pedagogy to AISNE member school middle and upper school educators at a special savings rate.

In order to activate R.E.A.L.® Discussion within a school, there is a $35 per student per school year materials investment. The per participant registration rate for this AISNE Cohort does not include the purchase of these student materials. To explore opportunities for your school, please contact R.E.A.L.® Discussion directly at:

Cohort Agenda at a Glance



  • Walk through an orientation to the online course you will asynchronously leverage as part of your participation in this cohort across this summer.
  • To get started, dive right into a conversation about the role of discussion in schools.



  • Experience a R.E.A.L.® Discussion simulation (get ready to laugh!).
  • Preview the curricular materials students use as part of R.E.A.L.®.



  • Focus on implementation and adaptation of R.E.A.L.® to your specific school’s context (get ready to rubric-build!).
  • Reserve office hours time with the R.E.A.L.® team to cover your specific implementation questions.
  • Continued Collaboration and Conversation

September through June

  • Accept your invitation to join complimentary monthly touch points with your AISNE Cohort peer participants, additional R.E.A.L.® Discussion practitioners across the U.S., and the R.E.A.L.® team.
  • Share your experiences using R.E.A.L.® to develop an intentional discussion practice within your classroom.

Cohort Outcomes

  • Be trained in a system for naming the skills we need for real conversation
  • Investigate how student-led discussion can be used as a tool to foster equity, belonging and growth for all students’ voices within rigorous academic contexts
  • Acquire the teacher tools you need to implement R.E.A.L.® Discussion and ensure all students feel heard and challenged in class discussions

Facilitator Reflections

  • 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 DEI best practices into middle and upper school 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.

The good news? R.E.A.L.® is high impact, and fast!

After one semester, 98% of students feel confident speaking up in discussion; 94% say they are able to disagree out loud with a classmate; and 85% show a growth mindset towards discussion. In today’s world, this feels like a miracle, but there is a method behind it!

Learn more about Liza Garonzik and R.E.A.L.® Discussion here.

Cohort Materials

Each participant’s AISNE Cohort registration includes:

  • Experiences and resources designed to prepare educators to use R.E.A.L.®:
  • Three live sessions, including a 1:1 office hour opportunity
  • Asynchronous engagement with the R.E.A.L.® Discussion online course
  • Monthly conversations throughout the 2021-22 school year

This registration does not include:

  • R.E.A.L.® Discussion student materials
  • $35 per student per school year

Please contact to learn more

Registration Details

Virtual Format Rates

  • AISNE Cohorts are exclusively for community members of AISNE member schools. The rates for this particular cohort reflect the inclusion of the R.E.A.L.® Discussion online course and they also reflect special savings for AISNE member schools.

$299 per person
$279 per person for 3-4 participants*
$249 per person for 5+ participants*


*To utilize our Group Savings Rates, please designate one person from your school to register all participants at the same time.

If you have a question about placing a group registration, please contact us at

AISNE Cohorts include takeaway content, tools, and resources. Notes and prompts are provided to support asynchronous and follow-up participant engagement. These resources are summarized and provided on a password-accessible web page.