Workshop: Recognizing and Fostering Teacher Agency
Description: In order for teachers to effectively foster student agency, they need to have experienced it and know what it looks like and feels like. This half-day workshop gives Cabinet Leaders and Principals the tools to foster and recognize agency in their staff. It presents definitions and examples of teacher agency along with strategies to foster that agency.
Participants: Principals and Central Office Administrators
Workshop: Visioning/Starting with the “Why”
Description: When most districts are asked why they are taking the digital leap, they respond instead with what they are doing: Giving each student a device; Offering online courses; Using adaptive software; etc. Leading districts, however, start with the why – what they want for their students. By having a clearly defined “why” that is shared by all staff – that they can put into their own words – there is a true north in the district for decision making about the digital leap: We are giving each student a device so that they can have 24/7 access to their resources and learning communities in order to support the development of their agency; We are offering online courses in order for our students to be as prepared for college and career as their counterparts in bigger districts; We are using adaptive software so that students can progress at their own pace and develop mastery rather than being pushed through one-size-fits-all curriculum.
This half day workshop presents the trends and changes in the workforce students are graduating into and how that affects what students need to know and be able to do on graduation. It then explores the underlying values of the district and identifies the (often unarticulated) goals that drive their implementation and their day-to-day work and helps the district articulate an authentic, simple, meaningful “why.”
Participants: Developing the district’s “why” is ideally done with many stakeholders. The Superintendent, CTO, CAO, and principals plus representative teachers and parents is the ideal composition when possible. Minimum representation is the Superintendent, CTO, CAO and representative principals.
Workshop: Goals and Metrics
Description: A district’s “why” becomes reality through concrete goals and metrics. This half-day workshop identifies district goals in three critical categories: Academic Achievement, Workforce Skills, and Student Agency, as well as other categories defined by the district that are needed to support the “why.” These categories are chosen to balance each other and avoid the diminishing returns that occur when the focus is on a single metric such as test scores. The district may have student outcome goals that fall outside these categories, and those will also be included.
The workshop will address strategies and approaches that support the district goals and how to implement them.
Once this workshop is complete, the district will have a well-articulated “why” that is backed up by the concrete goals and metrics that will bring it to fruition.
Participants: Developing the district’s goals and metrics is ideally done with many stakeholders. The Superintendent, CTO, CAO, and principals plus representative teachers and parents is the ideal composition when possible. Minimum representation is the Superintendent, CTO, CAO and representative principals.
Workshop: Recognizing and Fostering Student Agency
Description: What is student agency? This is a term that is used in many ways in the education field. In order to get the outcomes that student agency promises, it is necessary to go beyond definitions of simple engagement or self-direction or responsibility. This half-day workshop presents definitions and examples of student agency inside and outside the classroom along with strategies to foster that agency.
Participants: Teachers that are going to be working toward changing their practice to increase student agency in the classroom. Principals and Central Office Administrators who are going to be assessing progress against district goals for student agency would also benefit.
Workshop: Agentic Formal Improvement Process
Description: Student agency is like engagement on steroids – when successfully activated using agentic approaches such as Project-Based Learning, Inquiry, Design Thinking, Game-Based Learning and others, it supports deeper learning, workforce skill development, and better test scores. Implementing these approaches, however, with a traditional top down approach, however, doesn’t work. One of two things happens: either principals and teachers ignore the initiative, believing it is just another reform that will go away in a year, or the initiative is co-opted and implemented with the form but not the substance, as when Project-Based Learning turns into just doing projects.
This half-day workshop will help teachers and principals design a Formal Improvement Process for each school that meets their particular needs and context. The process will offer teachers agency and power in implementing changes to their classroom practice that will meet the goals defined by the district for student outcomes. The process involves teachers committing to try something new in their classroom, trying it out, then reflecting with peers on how it went. They then either modify their experiment or try something new. This leads to a culture of innovation where over time teachers learn to trust their students with owning their learning, where teachers’ mindsets shift to one of authentically fostering student agency, and where continual small improvements lead to big results.
This workshop also includes free use of the REFLECT app for documenting the outcomes of teacher classroom trials for 3 years.
Participants: The audience for this workshop are groups of a principal and representative teachers representing each school to be involved in the change process.
Teacher Capacity and Professional Development
Workshop: Project Based Learning
Project Based Learning is an agentic pedagogical approach that fosters deeper learning, workforce skills, student agency, and raises student achievement. In this workshop, teachers will experience learning through PBL about the practice of PBL. They will learn how to deliver PBL in the classroom, how to assess student work with PBL, and how to evaluate the PBL learning experience.
Workshop: Inquiry Based Learning
Inquiry Based Learning is an agentic pedagogical approach that fosters deeper learning, workforce skills, student agency, and raises student achievement. In this workshop, teachers will experience learning through Inquiry about the practice of Inquiry. They will learn how to deliver Inquiry in the classroom, how to assess student work with Inquiry, and how to evaluate the Inquiry learning experience.
Workshop: Design Thinking
Design Thinking is an agentic pedagogical approach that fosters deeper learning, workforce skills, student agency, and raises student achievement. In this workshop, teachers will experience learning through Design Thinking about the practice of Design Thinking. They will learn how to deliver Design Thinking in the classroom, how to assess student work with Design Thinking, and how to evaluate the Design Thinking learning experience.