Supporting empathy and agency
through a pedagogy of play

Susan MacKay and Matt Karlsen 

from Opal School


Saturday, March 2, 2019

9am – 4:00pm

$125 (lunch included)

Short Avenue Elementary School

12814 Maxella Ave. Los Angeles 90066

We live in a world of our making. Having a strong sense of agency comes from embracing the idea that we have the ability, right, and opportunity to design and create the world we want to live in. Negotiating that process of invention with others is hard work. It requires empathy, curiosity, flexibility, and capacity to embrace different perspectives.


School can be where we practice and strengthen these skills among others – it’s where strangers become community. At school, we can learn the benefits of taking safe risks, to become comfortable with uncertainty, to build emotional intelligence, and to exercise civic responsibility.

"In the past, jobs were about muscles; now they're about brains; but in the future, they'll be about the heart." 
Minouche Shafik, Director, London School of Economics

100% of the proceeds from this event will support our work in LAUSD Title I TK classes and play spaces for refugee children living in Greece

Opal School is a small school serving children ages 3-11 in Portland, Oregon. During this workshop, Opal School’s Susan Harris MacKay and Matt Karlsen celebrate the courage, wisdom, and tremendous capacity to navigate complexity children and adults discover when they invent the world together. We hope our time together inspires you to re-imagine the vital role of school for children and democracy: Let’s leave better equipped and more strongly committed to working with children to invent more just, whole-hearted, and beautiful worlds.

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