Project PLACE/Project ExCEL


Partnerships for Learning, Achievement, and Classroom Engagement (Project PLACE) 

Project PLACE (Partnerships for Learning, Achievement, and Classroom Engagement) is a professional learning experience for K-8 teachers to improve achievement and engagement for English learners.  Project PLACE uses the Culturally Responsive Instruction Observation Protocol (CRIOP) as a professional development framework for classroom teaching and family collaboration.  This PD framework structures project activities around the following elements:  Classroom Relationships,Family Collaboration, Assessment, Instruction,Discourse, and Critical Consciousness.  Project PLACE is an intensive year-long PD that includes school-based coaching, face-to-face meetings, and a summer institute.  Graduate coursework is offered to prepare a cadre of teacher leaders to support implementation of effective practices for ELs and serve as advocates in schools.  

The CRIOP Elements

Classroom Relationships: Establishing teacher care and a culturally responsive classroom environment.

Family Collaboration: Promoting open communication between families and the teacher, developing partnerships with parents and caregivers, and valuing “funds of knowledge”.

Assessment Practices: Discovering students’ strengths and literacy competencies, and observing students’ potential for learning.

Instructional Practices: Incorporating students’ cultural knowledge and affirming students’ racial and cultural identities.

Discourse: Providing abundant opportunities for student conversation and explicitly teaching the “language of power.”

Critical Consciousness: Exploring issues important to students and their families, encouraging students to engage in problem-solving of real-world issues, and analyzing biases in texts and aspects of popular culture.


We acknowledge the Center for Culturally Relevant Pedagogy at Georgetown College, directed by Dr. Rebecca Powell. The Center was instrumental in developing the Culturally Responsive Instruction Observation Protocol (CRIOP) and its work provides the foundation for Project PLACE.

The CRIOP was developed through the collaborative efforts of Rebecca Powell, Susan Chambers Cantrell, Yolanda Gallardo Carter, Angela Cox, Sherry Wilson Powers, Elizabeth Campbell Rightmyer, Kelly A. Seitz and Tiffany Wheeler. The instrument was revised in 2012 by Rebecca Powell, Susan Cantrell, Pamela Correll, Victor Malo-Juvera, Doreen Ross, and Ruthie Bosch. Many of the photos on this website are from teacher participants in Project PLACE.