professional development

Children's Innovation Project (part of reimagining project, LLC) is focused on learning about learning. We develop and facilitate ongoing professional learning experiences in a variety of contexts, including schools, school districts, informal learning contexts and individual groups of educators. We facilitate professional learning workshops on a variety of topics, as well as provide on-site consultation about ideas related to pedagogical approach, design for interdisciplinary learning and growth of teacher-led learning communities for sustained change in pedagogical approach for innovation.

Possible workshop topics (any of these can be a stand-alone workshop or part of full-day seminars for deeper educator learning and development):

Observational drawing: method and intention— Explore a method of observational drawing and how its practice opens a space for more careful in-depth noticing and wondering from students and teachers.

Supporting children to sustain attention inside open-ended play-- Explore a variety of methods and approaches that support children in growing attention, flexible thinking, collaborative conversation and invention inside play with ordinary materials.

Wondering and imagining: known vs. unknown— Explore ways we might better support students to build their skills for self-sustained wondering and imagining about the world through thinking about known-unknown, growing a space where not-knowing offers new opportunities and juxtaposing observational drawing with drawing to imagine.

Interdisciplinary learning: what it is and how we might grow it— Unpack the word “interdisciplinary” and explore it in contrast to cross-disciplinary, multi-disciplinary, trans-disciplinary, among other constructs of “disciplines” held inside school systems in order to promote deeper understanding for teachers to nudge towards more interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

Personalized learning: supporting students to navigate their internal easy<—->hard continuum— Explore an approach to personalized learning where teachers might maximize potential for students to learn to differentiate learning for themselves (no software programs needed) and find an internalized desire for, and ability to sustain, their own challenges in learning.

Conditional language: opening space for student thinking— Explore ideas of conditional language and how language is a powerful leverage area for expanding the thinking opportunities for all students in all classes, no matter what age or what subject area.

Do —> Happen: a construct for cause-effect logic and language— Explore the Do—> Happen language/logic construct and how it supports children’s logic of cause-effect and grows their language to explain this logic. Growing from Do—> Happen (in grades K-2) into input—> output logic/language (in grades 3-6), this logic frame invites a space for teachers to think and reflect on creating a school-wide continuum for this growing logic for all students.

Part-Whole: a construct for engagement in systems-thinking— Explore the Part-Whole language/logic construct in ways that support teachers to see how playing with this construct in many layers in their classrooms might open children’s creative and critical thinking about systems and their parts and purposes.

Opening spaces for learning— Distinguish between creating spaces for learning vs. planning for a series of lessons in a unit, exploring more deeply how educators might create open-ended and inherently differentiated spaces for all children to follow their own curiosities for rigorous learning.

Looking at student learning protocol— Explore a protocol for noticing/describing learning and engage teachers in following such a protocol to practice what it means to stay inside description for a long time to see more in student thinking and approach,  and then moving into interpretation of student learning and next steps for practice. Other protocols can be used/created/adapted for similar learning, depending on context.

In order to maximize the potential for teacher learning from workshops, we recommend site-based consultation in conjunction with workshops in order to provide an assessment of a context and make specific recommendations for future opportunities to leverage potential for on-going and sustained teacher (and school/site) learning and growth.

Specific possibilities for professional learning including consultation, workshops and other services are best discussed by phone in order to learn the specific needs of your context. Please email Melissa at butler.a.melissa@gmail.com or at info@cippgh.org to set up an appointment.