For Updates on Progressive Education, Just Read the Tweets

As frequent readers of our blog already know, we’ve occasionally used this space to recommended books to read, organizations to be aware of, and conferences and workshops to attend. Now we’ve got a new reference point to share — people and organizations in and around education whose Twitter feeds you may want to follow.

Twitter-Water_Bottles

Here’s our list of 10 people and organizations in education to follow on Twitter:

  • Laura Thomas (@CriticalSkills1) of Antioch University New England (@AntiochNewEng): Laura believes every learning experience should link to the next, and that there’s great value in teaching teachers how to make those connections.
  • Carlos Moreno (@Carlos_Moreno06) and Andrew Frishman (@AndrewFrishmanof Big Picture Learning (@bigpiclearning): These two men lead vital changes in education by generating and sustaining innovative, personalized schools that work in tandem with the greater community.
  • Steve Drummond (@SDrummondNPR) of National Public Radio – Education (@npr_ed): Drummond is the senior education editor with the National Public Radio’s education team and frequently provides coverage of what’s happening in progressive education.

Educational Heroes For Eagle Rock Faculty & Staff

We recently asked some of our educators and staff members to come up with a list of people in the field of academia that they believe made a difference in their lives or inspired them to do things differently or better.

Here is a list of a few of those educators:

theodore-sizerTheodore R. Sizer: Founder — and later president emeritus — of the Essential school movement, Sizer took on the task of questioning the way students were being taught in the nation’s secondary schools. By the late 1970s, he was involved with hundreds of high schools across the country.

What emerged from all of that research was the book Horace’s Compromise: The Dilemma of the American High School, his 1984 eloquent call to arms for school reform. Sizer also he founded the Coalition of Essential Schools, which is based on the principles he put forth in his book.

Eagle Rock School is an official Coalition School and our Professional Development Center is not only an Affiliate Center, we are also the national coordinator of CES Centers.

john-goodladJohn Goodlad: Written 15 years ago, Goodlad’s In Praise of Education described public education as a fundamental right in this country, calling it essential in the development of intelligent thinking within a democracy.

Other writings contributed by this educational theory-maker include The Moral Dimensions of TeachingPlaces Where Teachers Are TaughtTeachers for Our Nation’s Schools, and Educational Renewal: Better Teachers, Better Schools.

Goodlad was instrumental in promoting educational reform by designing programs and personally diving into research on positive change for schools.

As a point of reference, Eagle Rock was a founding member of his League of Democratic Schools.

Kurt-HahnKurt Hahn: This German educator, who is credited with playing a major leadership role in the effort to launch Outward Bound, founded an alliance of international schools called the United World Colleges. In addition, his thinking about school culture led to the creation of the 10 Expeditionary Learning Design Principles.

John Dewey: A pragmatic man — and an important contributor to functional psychology in this country — Dewey was also active in the realm of educational reform. Rather than sitting straight up at a desk in a classroom, Dewey espoused the concept of allowing children to learn while doing. By moving freely in and out of the classroom, his belief was that math, science and problem solving could be Continue reading…

And The Winner Is: Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center

If you’ve been associated for any length of time with Eagle Rock, you know our focus is on the work. Our singleness of purpose is reengaging students in their own education. And we actively facilitate the work of others around the country that express an interest in doing the same thing.

Point being: We’re not very good at tooting our own horn, singing our own praises, or making much of a ruckus about awards. We’d like to say it’s because we’re incredibly humble, but the truth is, our students and work with schools around the country come first, and public accolades — while genuinely appreciated — follow somewhere else down the list.

National School of Character

Having said all that, we have won many awards since our inception, and we thought it’d be nice to trot out those recognitions on a list. If for no other reason, they give us incentive to keep doing what — apparently — is excellent work:

Fall 2014 Update From The Eagle Rock Professional Development Center

A new trimester is about to get underway here at Eagle Rock and — just as in Septembers past — our Professional Development Center (PDC) finds itself gearing up to help schools across the country learn more about reengaging students in their own education.

Here in Estes Park, we’ve got a new cohort of Public Allies Fellows arriving on campus and the PDC team will help by launching a Strengths-based Fellowship Initiative that enables these fellows to access their strengths and talents in order to thrive in this demanding year of service and leadership.

And as we welcome six new staff members (in addition to the new Fellows mentioned above), the PDC team will be facilitating sessions for the Eagle Rock orientation for new staff.

Below is a listing of our Professional Development Center’s activities scheduled from now through the Thanksgiving holidays.

Sept. 18

Sep. 25

  • Facilitating the third monthly Google Hangout in our series with Public Allies Alumni in the education space.

Sep. 25 – 26

  • We regularly explore new opportunities for mission appropriate projects and have recently been introduced to the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives in New Orleans, La. We will be meeting with John Ayers, Executive Director, to explore intersections in our work for reengaging youth in their own education and communities.

Sep. 29

October 6 — 7

  • We’ll be hosting Rochester Public Schools (N.Y.) as a group of teachers, principals and district-level administrators look to continue their work in improving student engagement efforts.

October 8 — 10

  • We’ll be hosting Expeditionary Learning Schools where school leaders from a variety of schools nationally will convene to work on continuous improvement of their model. This is where teaching and learning inspires and empowers teachers to Continue reading…

News From The Eagle Rock Professional Development Center

PDC_Update_Sep:OctWe’re fresh into a new school year here at Eagle Rock and our Professional Development Center (PDC) has so many projects, plans and proposals in the works that we found it necessary to create a new position of PDC associate.

This new hiring signals our intent to increase the center’s national outreach and impact, contributing to — and accelerating — school improvement through strength-based approaches that support the organizations with which we partner and assist.

In fact, even as we write this, we’re interviewing candidates for the PDC position with hopes of having that new assistant ready to jump into a pile of projects right out the gate.

Below is a listing of our Professional Development Center’s activities scheduled from now through the Thanksgiving holidays. To inquire about working with the PDC, call Dan Condon at (970) 586-0600.

Sept. 24

  • Launching our Student-centered Coaching Initiative with Eagle Rock School, which is part of our annual professional development focus on student learning.
  • Hosting monthly directors phone call for the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) centers nationally who are planning for the CES Fall Forum. At that conference, which runs Nov 8 and 9, we are presenting with other centers on implementing the Common Core, while staying true to the 10 common principles of CES. Eagle Rock is also responsible for convening CES center directors for their biannual meeting.

Sept. 24 – 25

Sept 26

  • Today, we’ll be facilitating further curriculum development and charter school application work with Noble Impact, an Arkansas-based organization that engages with scholars to pursue public service as entrepreneurs.

Oct. 4 5

  • We will be hosting and working with Colorado teachers who utilize the Facing History organization’s resources in their schools. If you’re unfamiliar with this Brookline, Mass.-based organization, it promotes the belief that education is the key to combating bigotry and nurturing democracy. Through a rigorous investigation of the events that led to the Holocaust – as well as other recent examples of genocide and mass violence – students in a Facing History class learn to combat prejudice with compassion, indifference with participation, and myth and misinformation with knowledge.

Oct. 8 – 10 

  • We will host and work with representatives from the Rochester (N.Y.) Teachers Association, with a focus on the ways that serious outdoor and wilderness activity, experiential learning and voluntary commitment to behavioral values might transfer to an urban setting where large numbers of students are disengaged in their own education.

Oct. 14 – 16

  • We’ll be working with three Big Picture Learning Schools in Detroit: Blanche Kelso Bruce Academies, East and West Campus, and Catherine Ferguson. These schools have adopted the Big Picture Learning model but have only a year under their belt with this approach. We are being engaged to coach staff on how to make sense of and work effectively within this model.

Oct. 15

  • We will be working with Health Leadership High School in Albuquerque to facilitate the development of their professional development systems. Specifically, we will introduce them to the use of protocols as a way to foster continuous improvement with their project-based learning approach.

Oct. 17–18

  • Here, we’ll be working with South Burlington High School in South Burlington, Vt., to facilitate integration of the Common Core State Standards in the school’s Math and English departments. We’re looking forward to seeing Jason Cushner, a former math instructional specialist here at Eagle Rock, who is now a Rowland Fellow charged with leading systemic change in schools. Jason is working on getting schools to adopt innovative professional learning systems across the state of Vermont.

Oct. 25

  • We will be working with The Kingsbury Center in Washington, D.C., in an attempt to learn how to better practice differentiation in the classroom to apply to Eagle Rock School.

Oct. 29

  • Monthly CES (Coalition of Essential Schools) Directors call.

Oct. 30 (and Dec. 3)

  • Facilitating the launch of Puget Sound Consortium Critical Friends Group. This is a multi-year project to establish a network of secondary schools as a regional learning lab to improve long-term educational outcomes for Puget Sound, Wash., highest-need families. The focus is on student engagement as the strongest lever for increasing long-term success indicators such as college persistence, access to and preparedness for careers of choice, and non-cognitive attributes related to wellness and self and social efficacy.

Nov. 6

  • Eagle Rock is co-hosting the Rowland Conference and, following the keynote address we will be taking half of the attendees and running a workshop called “Managing the Rapids.” In the afternoon, we will take on the other half of the conference’s attendees so that by the end of the day we will have worked with an estimated 600 people. Our approach in these workshops is to employ the mindset and tools of “less is more.” Attendees will experience a set of processes that will help them get a handle on the various initiatives launched in their school setting and help get them under control within a clear framework. They will learn to move from confusion to disciplined focus and greater confidence, leaving the experience with a clear structure, aligned initiatives and focused strategy.

Nov. 8 – 10

  • Our entire PDC team, as well as some of our School’s staff, will be attending and working at the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) Fall Forum. Two workshops are scheduled, including one in which our own Holly Takashima and Karen Ikegami discuss how notebooks can be used to evaluate growth and mastery in different disciplines. The second workshop features Ike Leslie presenting, “Queer!” “Privilege!” “Power!” – Strategies for Facilitating Real Conversations in School.” This workshop answers the question of how to create a safe space for students and staff to discuss how power and privilege affect their personal and learning experiences.

Nov 18-21

  • Big Picture Learning coaches will be at Eagle Rock and we will be facilitating their adoption of new strategies to add to their coaching toolkit. They are working on integrating material from their newly published book Leaving to Learn and deepening their use of design thinking processes in their work.

Nov. 20 – 22

  • We’ll be returning to Detroit for a second visit to work with Big Picture Schools.