Place-Based Learning And Common Core Summer Institute


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Arnold WiltzAshokanDam1930CompressedEducators throughout the Hudson Valley are being invited to discover new and innovative ways to incorporate the region’s special places into their curriculum at Teaching the Hudson Valley’s 2013 institute, Place-Based Learning & Common Core. Registration is now open. The program will be held July 30-August 1 at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Home and Presidential Library in Hyde Park.

In a variety of workshops, field experiences, and talks, the institute will explore whether place-based learning techniques can help educators meet the demands of Common Core while continuing to focus on kids. Sessions will be led by local experts from throughout the Hudson Valley.

This year’s keynote address, Focusing on Students in a Data-Driven World, will feature Carol Burris this year’s NYS Secondary School Principal of the Year. Burris is principal of South Side High, Rockville Centre, and has written widely about Common Core and other topics. In a recent article for the Washington Post, Burris writes:

What occurs in a ‘data driven,’ high-stakes learning environment is that the full domain of what should be learned narrows to those items tested . . . Data should be used as a strategy for improvement, not for accountability purposes. The Common Core is a powerful tool, but it is being implemented using the wrong drivers.

The Institute’s 18 workshops will connect educators with historians, writers, and scientists, as well as their colleagues from schools, parks, and historic sites (view a full list of workshops here). Topics include:

Connecting a Hudson River Ecology and Evolution Story to the Common Core with Cornelia Harris from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

Shifting Perspectives: Making History Relevant and Relatable with Sarah Wassberg from the Hudson River Maritime Museum.

Sea Captain, Soldier and Slave: Devising Common Core Strategies for Classroom Outreach with Danielle Funiciello from the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site.

On the second day of the institute, participants will choose one of five in-depth field experiences incorporating tours, hikes, lectures, demonstrations, discussions, and hands-on activities to explore a specific aspect of local culture, history, or the environment of the Hudson Valley:

Arts as Nexus: Weaving the Arts into Common Core – Spend the day in Woodstock with museum educator Beth Humphrey (Woodstock Artists Association & Museum), and executive directors Ariel Shanberg (Center for Photography) and Matthew Leaycraft (Byrdcliffe Guild) examining Common Core standards through the lens of the visual arts.

Back Into the Woods: Take a Walk in Clearpool’s Model Forest – Learn to use nature to teach everyday math and science concepts in Clearpool’s model forest with environmental educator Chris Hendershot (Clearpool Education Center) and watershed forester Brendan Murphy (Watershed Agricultural Council).

Getting to the Common Core with Project Learning Tree – Environmental educators Tom Shimalla and Paul Adams will use the Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center to demonstrate how Project Learning Tree, an award-winning environmental education program, can be used to meet the demands of the Common Core.

A Question of Interest – Learn ways to search for, analyze, and use primary sources to explore the historical significance of Knox’s Headquarters with Michael McGurty, the State Historic Site’s educational program coordinator and acting facilities manager.

Whaling in Hudson: In Documents and Place – During a walking tour of Hudson and talks with local experts, participants will explore documents and architecture to uncover the history of the Hudson Valley’s whaling industry with educators Ina Griffin-Guilzon and Ashley Hopkins-Benton from the Columbia County Historical Society.

While Place-Based Learning & Common Core was developed with K-12 teachers and site educators in mind, anyone interested in the culture, ecosystems, and/or history of the Hudson Valley is welcome to participate.Registration is now open. For a detailed schedule and more information, visit THV’s website.

Illustration: Ashokan Dam, 1930, by Arnold Wiltz part of the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum’s collection and one of the local paintings participants can explore.

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