Date: February 14, 2017
Summary: Incarcerated high school students at East River Academy, which is part of the network of schools on Rikers Island, are learning the Shakespeare classic "Romeo and Juliet" this month, like many other New York City ninth graders. While it's part of the city's public school curriculum, many of the 16-and-17-year-old students at the jail read well below grade level so their teachers said recently they had to get creative.
Excerpt: "With the help of professional development training, offered by [CPET coaches Courtney Brown, Laura Rigolosi, and Uzma Hossain], teachers learned to take a step back from Shakespeare and focus on one big idea: love. The point was to connect students to the big themes in the play, and begin with simpler text. 'Once upon a time I would have just taught Romeo and Juliet,' said Essie Brew-Hammond. 'Now we’ve had two weeks on ‘what is love?’…And they give you their definitions and you're writing it on the board and you’re challenging them.'"
Read the full article at WNYC
Publication: Singapore American School
Date: December 6, 2016
Summary: New this year, the advanced topics program seeks to provide relevant, real-world problem-solving experiences for students. Writing Seminar, the English department’s first AT course, offers a way for students who already have an interest in creative writing to delve deeper into the world of letters, through building a community of writers and spending the spring semester on a collaborative project: a published book. In an exciting new partnership with the Center for Professional Education of Teachers (CPET) at Teachers College, Columbia University, consultants Cristina Romeo Compton and Lora Hawkins were at SAS, working directly with AT Writing Seminar students for a week-long launch of the publication project.
Excerpt: "When asked what she took away from her first week with SAS students, she is effusive. 'I learned from the students,' she says. 'They’re open and honest and candid. They collaborate with one another with respect and collegiality. It’s really remarkable.' Hawkins is impressed with the structure of the AT Writing Seminar course. 'The first semester was based on community building and practicing skills.' What’s innovative about that? 'In certain contexts that behavior gets dismissed as ‘fluffy.’ People ask, ‘why spend so much time building intimacy amongst your colleagues?’ I think the way the students interact with each other justifies taking time to establish those practices and those relationships.'
Read the full article at Singapore American School
As part of this year's Re-imagining Writing: Publishing Beyond the Classroom workshop series, teacher participants worked with their students to build professionally designed, print-based publications for their classrooms.
To showcase their hard work, we're hosting a special event on June 2nd where teachers, students, and school communities will come together to reflect on this process and celebrate the release of each publication. Students will also share select pieces from each of the publications below.
This event is free and open to all who wish to attend!
In Practice is a unique conference that leverages critical reflection, peer to peer discourse, and inspirational workshops to help educators reflect on their school year and begin to turn their sights towards next year in a meaningful and productive setting.
What to expect:
This conference is a free event at Teachers College with limited attendance - register now to reserve your spot!
We hope to see you on June 9th!
Over the past several months, EdLab has been tagging along with CPET's Erick Gordon as he follows his impulse to explore and seek adventure in his role as a teacher, the creator of the Literacy Unbound program, and as a Senior Research Fellow with CPET.
Dr. Gordon's work has been driven by the belief that it's important to create learning spaces that feel less like school and more like places where art, relationships, and an authentic sense of wonder come together. This belief is especially present in his work with Literacy Unbound - a performance program that's not only about presenting media, but also the belief that in voice, body, and movement, there can be a process of constructing understandings.
Perhaps the best way to summarize Erick's work and his impact on students and colleagues comes from one of his former students, Nathan Blom: "...he's best at creating moments of wonder - moments that are going to be etched in people's minds."
As part of its five-year strategic partnership with a Connecticut public school district to design and implement a K-12 initiative to cultivate deeper levels of 21st Century Global Capacities, Studies in Educational Innovation at CPET, founded by Suzanne Choo, (PhD, 2012), Deb Sawch (EdD, 2013) and Alison Villanueva (PhD, 2013) in 2011 has been focusing specifically this year on character--what it is; what it looks like; and how to cultivate it in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and school culture, as well as how to engage the larger community.
To that end, SEI is working with district leadership and a teacher-led task force, whose responsibilities include internal and external research and outreach, to understand both the research literature and best practices around how schools and communities cultivate character. SEI is helping the task force to establish partnerships, engage in primary and secondary research, and establish protocols for enlisting and engaging their K-12 colleagues in this work. Their first public initiative was a Community Conversation for all parents and community members. In order to ground the evening in a more real-world context, SEI shared global research and their on-going work in schools that focuses on character cultivation. Parents then attended focus groups where they shared their thoughts and ideas around how schools, parents, and the larger community can work together to help nurture character in all stakeholders, not just students.
This works dovetails with SEI's global work on cultivating character in schools in Singapore and Australia. While each site approaches this work a little differently depending on country context and curricular focus, all sites believe that engaging every stakeholder--school leaders, teachers, support staff, students, parents and the larger community--is essential to any program or initiative rooted in cultivating character. One Singapore school identifies "Caring Thinking" as one of three essential thinking domains (the other two being Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking), and an Australian school focuses on character as part of global citizenship and has develop programs both within and beyond the curriculum that offer students opportunities to engage in service learning and internships.
Three recent TC Alumni and members of the New Teacher Network at Teachers College (Tallie Diamond, David Baksh, & Allison Addona) have been participating in a series of workshops presented by the Center for the Professional Education of Teachers to develop and implement writing units that take their students' work out of the classroom and into a book. Representing schools from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Hoboken, New Jersey -- student-authored texts from the Re-imagining Assessment workshop will culminate in a book launch in June 2015, at Teachers College. All are welcome to join the celebration and hear the students read from their texts.
Congratulations to these three alumni for paving the way for meaningful projects in your first year of teaching!
Wednesday, April 22nd
Teachers College - 152 Horace Mann
Dr. Roberta Lenger Kang, Initiative Director at CPET, will be the guest speaker for TC's Casual Conversation series. She will be sharing her experience with leveraging mandates during an era of accountability, and will touch on the implications of city, state and federal mandates like high stakes assessments, Common Core standards, and teacher evaluations.
Come with your questions, concerns, and innovative ideas for a productive conversation about the current challenges facing schools today!
To RSVP: If you have a Teachers College/Columbia email address, click here. All others please email TC directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On February 15th & 16th, 2015, the Senior CPET Coaches Roberta Kang, Denise Daniels, Marcelle Mentor, and Cristina Romeo presented at the annual Association for Teacher Educators (ATE) conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Their presentation, titled "Cultivating a Common Core - A Pedagogy for Professional Development", was designed to share five core principles in which CPET's professional development practices are rooted.
Participants of the panel discussion were given opportunities to reflect on their current practices and experiences with professional development by using images. They were then introduced to each of the five core principles of professional development as defined by CPET, including:
Participants engaged in conversations specific to each principle, facilitated by CPET coaches. The panel concluded with the sharing of participants' thoughts and considerations as they relate to their overarching goals and practices as educators. Participants were deeply engaged in the discussion and opened up about their own practices and how these five principles could be applied to their own work. Thanks to the organizers of the ATE for a wonderful opportunity to share professional strategies aligned with teacher education!
Building on the inaugural summer institute in which teachers and students immersed in creative collaboration, CPET’s Performance at the Center hosted a team of students and teachers from the United Nations International School (UNIS) to work alongside Teachers College MA and doctoral students in a four-hour workshop, incorporating writing, reading, movement, and sound. In this process-oriented approach to arts integration, the team of ‘players’ performed questions as they explored Shirley’s Jackson haunting short story, “The Lottery.”