CBMS- MGI Mission Statement

Focus Statement for our work at the MGI, and in year #1, with the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education: In year #1 of our partnership with the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education, CBMS staff will analyze and re-design the CBMS learning environment, with the goal of supporting an increase in personalized learning and meaningful pursuits for our students. We will be aiming to create a learning environment which allows our students to engage in learning that incorporates interests, questions and concerns about issues of personal and social significance in a democratic society. This work will begin in the Middle Grades Institute in June, where we will run a jigsaw approach towards exploring this lofty goal. Small groups will focus on:
*The utilization of time- how can the CBMS daily schedule change to better allow us to meet this goal?
*The roll-out of Personal Learning Plans @ CBMS- what needs to happen for these plans to quickly become a cornerstone of personalization?
*1:1 environment @ CBMS- what can this look like, and how do we get there?
Student Empowerment and Student Voice- how can these be ramped up @ CBMS?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Response to Richardson article

Response to Richardson article

There are a number of areas of need related to professional development that will be necessary to move staff along the path to personal learning. However, before any formal PD training happens, we need to reevaluate our idea of school.  Our classes must look different.  We need to be willing to let go of control.  “We have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, because we don’t know the exact direction that a class will go when we walk in. “ (p. 24) 

Since personalized learning is a new way of viewing education, we will also need to see professional development in a new way.  While some more traditional PD will be needed (technology, PLP development, etc.) we also need help in getting students to see themselves and their role in their own education differently.  They may not be comfortable with this additional responsibility. “In some cases, students have real dif- ficulty identifying what they love, or at least how what they love might work its way into their personal curriculum. Stutzman’s colleague at Hunterdon Central, Megan Dornhauser, says that her role as a teacher is to help her students see the connection.” (p. 24) 

To me the major question if how to maintain the big picture of making a systemic change while also identifying the nuts and bolts of what is needed PD-wise.


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  2. What are the ways teachers can help students see the connections between what they love and what happens at school?

    How can those connections be made a reality of the students' days?

    Who might be the best facilitators for our staff to "get at" these new ideas of school. Do we have in-house folks? Tarrant folks?

    I can see this as instrumental in getting personalized learning established school-wide.