Wednesday, April 11, 2012


(This is the ninth in what will eventually be series of 26 posts I’ve undertaken: each day’s post centers on a topic connected to the next letter of the alphabet from the previous post. The posts all have to do, directly or indirectly, with teaching and learning.)

One of the more recent innovations at my school is the creation of The Institute for Teaching, Learning, and Instructional Innovation, most often referred to on campus by its acronym, ITLII, pronounced to rhyme with a sovereign nation north of Sicily. The Institute is intended to be a resource "to foster and facilitate purposeful inquiry into the development of effective teaching practices and the creation of transformative learning environments," and to encourage teachers to share the results of their inquiries with other teachers within our own school as well as with other teachers and schools in Hawaii and throughout the world. Within the framework of ITLII, our school provides support for professional development by encouraging teachers to apply for learning fellowships and curriculum grants that provide them with the time, materials, and logistical support they need in order to conduct explorations of interest to them.

One of the most powerful of spreading "Ideas Worth Sharing," as the worldwide success of the TED talks demonstrates, is by means of video. ITLII has helped to support the creation of a number of such videos in the last year, in the attempt to document some of the interesting ideas that teachers and students are trying out. Here, for example is a video a seventh grade cross-disciplinary project with a focus on economics.

Here's another featuring a high school art class trying out iPads:

Other videos can be found on the "Educator Collaboration" tab of the ITLII web site.

One of the unique things about the Institute is that it is not linked to a particular building or limited to particular set of individuals. We see it rather as a fluid entity connecting and supporting many of the programs already in place at our school supporting student engagement in sustainability, service learning, global education, technology, and arts education, and project-based learning. It is intended to be an enterprise in which every teacher and every student can play a part.

No comments: