Category Archives: Staff Training
Written on July 1, 2012 at 7:04 pm, by Eric
Please enjoy a few words of feedback from our wonderful trainees. These two teachers work at CICS Northtown, and we are extremely grateful to partner with them.
- Outside of the [Global Peace (gp)] course, I just want to send my encouragement to you and the gce family to continue to experiment, and load the rest of your curriculum with WHATs and HOWs that adhere to the gp model of unit design. It’s clear that your team has been doing great work. It’s fascinating to think about classes being planned this way. For example, within my school i think about how many new opportunities for integration would open up outside of my course through the arteries of this rather simple, thoughtful design. The nature of this unit structure is so conducive to that specific kind of collaborative work that deepens student learning, but often doesn’t happen or is merely tangential. The model also demands a certain degree of differentiation in order for a teacher to activate it correctly. It really seems both obvious and miraculous, like, why haven’t we been planning this way? With a frame like this for units, I think teachers across content areas, given enough time for planning, could really, really, really do amazing things in their classrooms. i’m extremely excited by the gp format and i feel that it’s also administrator-friendly, a point that shouldn’t need to be made but i think does; it reflects the mission of any high school today, but is also so permeable that it allows for an inflow of rigorous, skills-based activity. Thinking about the verticality of the unit structure in terms of skills-building/ACT, and not just focusing on its horizons (integration, etc.) is also really interesting. That challenge of blending it and making sure to tease out skills/ACT/standards, with this model already in place, could produce some of the most valuable content and activities for the WHATs/HOWs without feeling like a separate, onerous weight to the students as they learn. you should call the design of the gp class the uprise unit structure. That’s what it feels like – i’ve been reclining and am now getting up. Or, that i’m actually in revolt. In either case, ascending. By which i mean, the students will. Having said this, i haven’t actually taught your wonderful curriculum. I am eager to see how it feels in practice with our students, what we are going to have learned by the end. Hopefully, there’s an uprising. Thanks for this discovery and this training.
- This workshop has increased my interest in the GCE Model for Learning in that I now have a visual roadmap of how to plan purposeful courses, units and lessons. The structure makes me excited to not only teach the Global Peace Course but also to see how I can incorporate the model into my Writing Course at Northtown. Diving into the lessons and allowing us to see how the components fit together and then giving micro teaching opportunities was invaluable. I believe this curriculum allows students to be the natural learners they were meant to be. Providing purpose, a roadmap and activities that allow them to discover answers to questions along the way opens up unlimited possibilities for the student learning experience. The structure teaches them how to be forever learners and letting one question lead them on an exploration that might take them to yet another question. It is a continuous learning cycle with necessary skills built in. How do I now take all of this to plan what I need for CICS? I want to really aspire to live up to the possibility of this model and course.
Written on June 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm, by Eric
Yesterday, we spent a good deal of time and thought on Blended Learning, it pros, cons, limitations, and possibilities to maximize learning. Please share in the ideas below:
BL – WHY
How does BL improve (for students) organization of course?
- website lets you go deep, zoom in and out
- gives autonomy to student to understand structure and org of course –can explore what doing on own
- entirely transparent
- less overwhelming visually–can decided what level of detail to look into
- syllabus different as flat, status doc –doesn’t provide as much organizationally
How BL enhance use of embedding resources?
- link to sources
- collect online and offline sources in same place
- tidiness and simplicity, access from one place
- kids need training to use the site…
How BL enhance network of learners
- read others comments on blog posts– comment on comments– sets up a different kind of dialogue
- create portfolio of learning
- graduates return to site, take it with them into other learning community–resources available to other people
- other teachers sharing lessons/activities, etc, as well as comments on what has worked and why, etc.
- free open source material– no proprietary software–doesn’t have to be expensive to have high tech
How BL helps to offer examples of excellence?
- embedded in site– in same format
- more transparent
- want everyone to be advocate
- front-end parent with information… info is always right here
- parents can always check on students work
- curriculum design always open to see
- administrators see what happening; students access it; teachers make it user-friendly
‘What if’ (contingencies to keep kids caught up):
- communicate same info to kids, parents, admin
- save time
- bridge absences, homebound, snow days, etc
Teaching for multiple intelligence:
- video, audio, movement, hands- experience—tech helps us address multiple intelligence
- using tools we have at our discretion — more tools and sharper tools–wider array helps us be more effective
- we each don’t have access to all tools–but we can build them…
- we may not have Hans Rosling on staff, but do have him on TED…
Written on June 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm, by Eric
In our final training session today, we discussed evaluation. We asked and talked about the purpose of assessment and effective vs ineffective strategies. We told a few funny stories and laughed about our short-comings. But one thing that isn’t funny is that there is often a disconnect between what we evaluate, in terms of student work, and how we use the information to become better teachers, and better people.
Participants in GCE’s Educator Workshop answered the following prompt as comments to this blog:
- What takeaways will you immediately apply to your teaching craft? How will you know if you’re effective/successful?
Please feel free to share your own thoughts too.
Written on June 25, 2012 at 11:49 pm, by Eric
- Clarify and discuss the goals of GCE’s Model for Learning which apply to both formal and informal environments: educating global citizens
- Train public and private educators to deliver the curriculum in a range of formats from electives to clubs to summer immersion programs (also available is training to develop full school models)
- Build GCE’s Global Network: learning circles of students, educators, and partners — corporate, non-profit, and civic — who collaborate in person and online.
The purpose of our Tuesday morning session is to explore the essence of Inquiry-Based Learning and the contexts in which it is most effectively employed. Participants, educators from four schools — Global Citzenship HS, Chicago International CS Northtown, Young Women’s Leadership CS, and Glenbrook South HS – share their understanding of IBL in two ways, both of which contribute to GCE’s practice and examination of Inquiry and Project based learning, blended learning, City2Classroom* programs, and MDG & CCSS alignment:
- Thoughts and definitions about IBL posted as comments to this blog.
- No fewer than 3 examples of appropriate scenarios in which IBL optimizes student learning, also posted as comments to this blog.
Written on March 10, 2012 at 7:46 pm, by Eric
Every GCE course, unit, lesson, and activity is purpose driven. We ask teachers to clarify the essence of learning opportunities and to transparently communicate why each course is essential to learn.
What is the purpose of your course and why is it essential to learn?
Written on March 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm, by Eric
Student performance, beliefs, and interactions reflect who we are and what we do as educators. At GCE, we constantly strive to see our own reflection in our students’ behavior and performance and to use the data available to improve our curriculum, instruction, and social emotional support. Ultimately, it is only through consistent and direct attention to our students that we can learn what THEY truly need in order to grow as students and citizens.
How will you know if/when your students get it? What are you looking for, listening to, sensing?
Written on March 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm, by Eric
One of the greatest challenges we face as educators is that of communication; and failure to communicate clearly through directions, questions, assessment, and informal interactions quickly leads to breakdowns in trust, motivation and performance. On the flip-side, by varying communication strategies and accommodating the unique learning needs of each student, we can bridge gaps that increase love of learning, connection, and advocacy.
What patterns of communication will your course facilitate? How will students connect with themselves, others, and the world?
Written on March 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm, by Eric
Part 2: How do you want your students to be transformed in 10 weeks? How do you want them to be different?
Written on March 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm, by Eric
Dear GCE Community:
As we prepare for spring term 2012, I have designed a workshop for our staff to help catalyze even more advanced curriculum design. As always, this generative process will result in global, integrated, inquiry- and project-based blended learning curriculum (that lives online and in-person), and that is aligned with both the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and the Common Core Standards. To learn more about our curriculum design process and outcome, please view our GCE Passport.
Please note that there are several posts on this topic; this is part 1. All feedback from staff is posted as “comments” to each post. The process starts with reflective prompts, moves into discussion, invites public sharing on the blog, grows into curriculum, and is tested through the relationship between instruction and student learning.
PART 1: What do you want your students to “feel” each day?
Written on February 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm, by Eric
I’m pleased to share that we have had to revise the GCE Institute offerings due to increased demand — a challenge we are grateful to face. Please review the offerings below or visit the Institute web page so that you can navigate around the rest of our website; and make sure to explore GCE Voices so that you can see for yourself the amazing work that our students are doing!
Many thanks and we look forward to working with you.