Intellectual Virtues Academy: Public High School

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Professional Development

Professional development sessions at the Academy allow our team of experts to get together and explore why it is essential for teaches to redesign curriculum for the 21st century given how the world has changed after the recession. The rules of the game have changed and it is important for academic institutions to rethink their approach to prepare the next generation to be successful in this new economy. 


The premise of the approach is built on Thinking Routines as a Framework for Learning. Thinking routines is the confidence that everyone can be part of creating amore desirable future, and process to take action when faced with a difficult challenge. That kind of optimism is well needed in education. Classrooms and schools across the world are facing design challenges every single day, from teacher feedback systems to daily schedules. Where eve they fall on the spectrum of scale-the challenges educators are confronted with are real, complex, and varied. And as such, they require new perspectives, new tools, and new approaches. Thinking routines is one of them and directly aligned with our Intellectual Virtues Model. 


The driving questions will be 


  1. What does "reflection" look like?
  2. How do we curate learning artifacts in a meaningful way such tat we encourage their revisiting?
  3. How do we teach students to uncover how they learn, share what they learn, and articulate why they learned it?


At the Academy we are committed to providing quality and meaningful professional development opportunities for our faculty and staff. Each opportunity is attributed by goals and student performance outcomes, the integration of the professional development into the total school operation, providing collaborative problems, defining multiple outcomes for students, including theoretical understandings, providing continuous and on-going experiences, and ensuring comprehension of the growth process (Darling-Hammond, et al. 2009; Hawley and Valis, 1999). 


The professional development serves multiple goals for teachers to affect changes in three major areas: their beliefs and attitudes, their classroom practices, and the learning outcomes of their students (Guskey, 2002). To foster this process we listen to teachers' voices, establish trust for collaborative working conditions, form structures that enhance the culture to promote interaction and learning, and develop the relationship between purposes and processes for change. 


Our instructors embraced the presented strategies, methodologies and skills and put them directly into practice. We are all eager to continue this new and exciting school year.