Diversity, Equity, Access & Inclusion
McNeal works with organizations, governments, schools and individuals to confront the critical relationship between inclusion, equity and diversity. He supports the cultivation of a “learning organization”, and fuses this concept and its various facets, into collective action. He aids in addressing the root causes of bias and marginalization, helping elucidate how it manifests in the individual and collective behavior, and finally organizational practices. He helps people acknowledge equity issues and confront them – through critical awareness and conscientious noticing. He makes visible the psychological experience of exclusion, and the impact on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. This experience of inclusion is facilitated and made possible by the behavior of those in leadership; by those individual’s attitudes, behavior, values, norms, practices, and processes. What we value, we build. Diversity, equity and inclusion matters involve each and all of the following: an individual or group experience; a set of behaviors; an approach to leadership; a set of collective norms and practices; or a personal, group, organizational, and social valuing. This work is challenging and always ongoing.
Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Teaching
Teaching for Social Justice and Liberation
Culturally Responsive Teaching is a pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning. Arts Education for Social Justice, Critical Pedagogy, and Multi-Cultural Curriculum continue to be of utmost important in my philosophy about teaching in and through the arts. With extensive training in Social Emotional Learning, Restorative Justice Practices, and Constructivist Focused Inquiry-Based Learning, he has taught students in a myriad of under-served urban settings, including youth in the San Francisco Juvenile Justice system. He has also trained faculty and staff of the Juvenile Justice/Delinquency Prevention Commission of Alameda County. Most Recently, he has participated in training for Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Teaching Tolerance focuses on developing essential cultural competencies for working across learning contexts for the cultivation and development of anti-bias education.
Arts Integration is at the foundation of the work. As a former professional actor and dancer from an early age, he discovered his identity and sense of wholeness through arts experiences. His professional studies led him to study at the Actors Studio and the Stella Adler Conservatory; while studies in education led to a Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction – Integrated Teaching Through the Arts from Lesley University. In that program, he learned “strategies for integrating arts into the curriculum to meet the needs of all learners.” In 2011, he was in the original cohort of arts educators to earn an Arts Integration Specialist Certificate from the Alameda County Office of Education. In that program, he mastered the art of teaching in and through the arts, and how to facilitate developing the full creative potential in every student. The arts are essential, as they impact student motivation, attitudes, and attendance. Research shows that increased access and involvement in arts education encourages students to succeed in school, in work, in life. Mc Neal works to ensure that the next generation receives a well-rounded education that includes the arts.
McNeal earned a Master’s Degree in Education: Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Arts Integration from Lesley University. Additionally, he earned a Certificate in Arts Integration and Integrated Learning for Social Justice from Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE). Mastery in Integrated Learning has positioned him as Senior Faculty and Advisor to the award-winning Integrated Learning Specialist Program of ACOE.
Mc Neal has worked in Professional Development for Classroom Teachers, Teaching Artists, and other professionals for over 30 years. As a Master Artist Educator, he was one of the original instructors for the inception of The California Arts Project (TCAP), a subject matter project of the California Department of Education. In the last five years, he has taught master classes and workshops for Stanford University, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Mills College of Oakland, and UC Berkeley. He recently served as a Professional Expert in Adult Education and Integrated Learning in the Educational Services Division of the Alameda County Office of Education. Much of his primary frameworks content include Teaching for Understanding, Studio Habits of Mind, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, and Making Learning Visible. With an emphasis in Multi-Cultural Curriculum, he continues to consult and train teachers and artists around the world through my private practice.
Boys and Dance
A former professional actor and dancer, Mc Neal taught dance for over 30 years. trained others both domestically and abroad on behalf of the San Francisco Unified School District, The California Department of Education, The California Dance Educators Association (CDEA), The Kennedy Center and the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland, among many others, where his content emphasis was Ballet, World Dance & Culture, and Males in Dance. He is a former Board Member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), where he served for three years as a subject matter expert on males in dance. As the former Director of Education of San Francisco, he taught males of levels 1 through 3, and additional special courses in strength and fitness for the male dancer. He was also responsible for the recruitment, retention, and training of both male and female dancers of color.