If you or your school is struggling (and struggle is good and essential!) with what transformative learning innovation looks like, with painting that picture of where you want to go, well, here is a big freebie brush via Glenn Whitman, Director of the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. Those of you who followed my #EdJourney will remember that I visited and reported on St. Andrew’s, in Potomac, Maryland in October. Glenn sent me this link to their newly completed resource, “Think Differently and Deeply”, and it is packed with knowledge on a number of different levels from theory to real classroom examples. It would make a great one-stop resource for faculty and administrative team leaders to mine and share.
The CTTL at St. Andrew’s is a partnership with the Educational Neuroscience group at John’s Hopkins, and St. Andrew’s has staked their value proposition on capturing this powerful field of research in their learning process. Under this large paradigm, their faculty are translating what the latest research shows about how we learn across their course catalogue, and this resource has concrete examples from design thinking to the arts, foreign language, athletics, the importance of play, assessment and more.
Is there an aspect of this piece that is self-serving to St. Andrew’s, tailored to an admissions pitch? Absolutely, and that is a strength, not a weakness. One of the key lessons from my research is that understanding, articulating, and communicating differentiating value is an absolutely key measure of a school’s ability to truly innovate. Does your school have hard copy and online resources that so clearly communicate how you are truly different than the school down the street? If not, here is a pretty darn good template for how to do it.
Thanks, Glenn, for sharing this important piece of work. If you want to know more about the CTTL, go to their website, or get in touch with Glenn directly (firstname.lastname@example.org). The CTTL will be offering workshops for teachers from other schools, and I am excited to follow their progress.