professional development

Children's Innovation Project 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— This session will 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.

Wondering and imagining: known vs. unknown— This session will explore ways we can 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— This session will 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. The intent of this session will be to promote a deeper understanding in order to support teachers to nudge towards more interdisciplinary learning.

Personalized learning: supporting students to navigate their internal easy<—->hard continuum— This session will explore the many ways to approach the idea of personalized learning and how teachers might maximize potential for students to learn to differentiate learning for themselves and how to find an internalized desire for, and ability to sustain themselves with, challenge and struggle.

Conditional language: opening space for student thinking— This session will dig deeper into what is meant by conditional language and how it is a powerful leverage point 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— This session will 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. This session will also explore how Do—> Happen (in grades K-2) grows into input—> output logic/language (in grades 3-6) and will invite 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— This session will 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 can open children’s creative and critical thinking.

Opening spaces for learning— This session will distinguish between creating spaces for learning vs. planning for a series of lessons in a unit, exploring more deeply what is meant by low-threshold, high-ceilings and wide-walls in lesson/learning design.

Descriptive review of student learning— This session will explore a protocol for descriptive review and engage teachers in following such a protocol to practice what it means to stay inside description for a long time, before moving into interpretation of student learning. Once teachers have experience with this protocol, it can be applied to many other contexts in the school day. 

In order to maximize the potential of teacher learning from workshops, we recommend site-based consultation in order to provide an assessment of the current context and recommendations for future opportunities to leverage potential of a context towards on-going and sustained teacher learning and growth.

Specifics of 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 contact us at to set up an appointment.