Transformative Learning and Classrooms of Understanding #MICON13

transformative learningWhat’s on your calendar June 12th and 13th? If you have those dates open, I highly recommend you consider attending The 2013 Martin Institute Conference held at my school. This is the third year PDS has hosted the summer conference. Having attended the previous two, I must say this conference is one of the best kept secrets in the edu-sphere, and that needs to change.

Fortunately, my friend and colleague Jamie Feild Baker, the executive director of The Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence, has decided to offer a discounted early registration for just $95.00 through March 31, 2013. On April 1, the price increases to $150.00. On June 1, the fee will increase again to $195.00, so you should go ahead and register early. You can register here.

It’s going to be an incredible two days of learning here in Memphis. The theme this year is “transformative learning,” and author/speaker Will Richardson and Superintendent Pam Moran (Albermarle, Virginia) will be the keynoting the conference.  Some of the extraordinary educators offering plenary sessions are Bo AdamsJohn Hunter, Grant Lichtman, and Gabriel RshaidMary CantwellRobert Dillon, Jill Gough, Eric Juli, Jessica Ross, and Ira Socol are among those offering workshops, too. To quote my friend Bill: “I’m pretty jazzed about this conference.” And you should be, too. Memphis-area educators and anyone else who can get here in mid-June ought to make the effort to attend.

Alice Parker and I will facilitate a workshop at the conference. Our session is “Classrooms of Understanding: Scratching Below the Surface.” Here’s the description:

What does student understanding look like? How do innovative teachers equip today’s learners with the critical and creative thinking skills needed to thrive in a changing world? In this excavation of understanding, we will uncover the essentials of student understanding, delve into routines and questioning strategies that develop habits for critical and creative thinking, and unearth best instructional practices in order to transform today’s classrooms into places of deep student learning. Join us. You’ll dig it!

Session Outcomes:

  • Insight into what student understanding looks like
  • Tools for developing (and assessing) students’ critical and creative thinking
  • Familiarity with deep questioning strategies and visible thinking routines
  • Awareness of the 4 aspects of creativity and how to scaffold them into instruction
  • Reflection on current practice and transformation of classrooms into places of deep thinking and understanding

I hope you’ll make plans to attend The 2013 Martin Institute Conference, and if you do, consider attending our session. Alice is a truly amazing teacher, and I’m excited about the things we plan to share. The whole conference is going to be a fantastic event, and I think it’s more than worth the cost of registration. Let me know if you plan to attend. I’d love to connect. Who knows, maybe Debbie and I will open the Cummings’ Bed & Breakfast for friends coming in from out of town…

Full Disclosure: The Martin Institute of Teaching Excellence is an innovative venture by my school, Presbyterian Day School, and our partners to provide world-class professional development to teachers in public and private schools. I am a full-time teacher at PDS.