December 11, 2015
Center for Inspired Teaching was well represented at the Learning Forward 2015 National Conference, held December 5-9 in Washington, DC. Over the course of the conference, Inspired Teaching led three separate sessions for attendees from across the globe. Participants left these sessions with knowledge of Inspired Teaching’s work with both teachers and students and with strong ideas and strategies for how to engage students through inquiry-based, student-centered practices.
Inspired Teaching helped open the conference with an all-day pre-conference session: “The Teacher as Instigator of Thought: Fine-Tuning Your Practice for Improved Student Performance.” Teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators from as nearby as Maryland and as far away as Singapore joined Inspired Teaching’s Suzanne Katz, Dave Yarmchuk, Cosby Hunt and Inspired Teaching Demonstration School Principal Zoe Duskin to explore inquiry-based instructional practices, including Inspired Teaching’s philosophical approach and practical applications in the classroom. Participants commented that Inspired Teaching’s session was “more interactive and experiential than others” and recognized that the intellectually, emotionally, and physically engaging activities were designed to “put us in the mind of the student.”
Inspired Teaching’s pre-conference session was followed a day later by a panel session, “Bolstering Students’ Creativity in K-12 Classrooms,” which was led by Inspired Teaching’s Aleta Margolis and Suzanne Katz, along with Jennifer Cooper from Wolf Trap, Trica Edwards from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, and Dr. Eugenia Etkina of Rutgers University. Panelists shared research and ideas they drew from their expertise in the arts, sciences, and education to engage the audience in a rich discussion of how to engage students in creative processes in K-12 classrooms.
Finally, on December 9th, the Inspired Teaching Demonstration School hosted nearly 40 conference attendees. Head of School Deborah Dantzler Williams led the school tour, followed by a Q&A session covering topics such as implementation of the Common Core State Standards using the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) framework, teaching the Next Generation Science Standards, and embedding Inspired Teaching’s instructional model – The 4I’s and the 5 Core Elements – into instruction.