the classroom building Sam Phil on a summer day with blue sky above and green grass in foreground
September 26, 2022

Professional Learning & Partnerships

Summer and fall at the Tang Institute
by Andy Housiaux

This summer, the Tang Institute offered a number of professional development opportunities for educators:

  • In collaboration with the Global Online Academy (GOA), we spent two days working with Phillips Academy educators on developing competencies for their courses. This professional development also featured some new experiences for both adults and recent alums: the 18 teacher participants spent a morning at Chùa Tường Vân Lowell, a Buddhist temple that had hosted Workshop students earlier in the spring. Andover teachers also heard from Workshop alums about the ways in which that program had impacted them as students and learners.
  • At this year's Learning Ethi{CS} Workshop, Faculty Fellows Kiran Bhardwaj and Nicholas Zufelt guided teachers through a one-day hackathon during which they redesigned lesson plans for their home schools. Traditional “sit-and-get” professional development sessions rarely have this kind of time for teacher reflection.
  • A similar emphasis on collaboration and school change was a central theme of the Reimagining Transitions conference in June. Hosted by the Tang Institute, this event featured speakers from four high schools and Minerva University. Presenters spoke about:
    • supporting trans and non-binary students;
    • multidisciplinary competencies;
    • transitioning to mastery learning;
    • and transition programs for first-generation students.
  • A small group of the Reimagining Transitions participants will collaborate throughout this year on an action research project led by a member of the Tang Institute team and Dr. Rebecca Stilwell, a lecturer at Teachers College. These teachers—from Andover and a range of independent schools across New England—will spend a year studying improvement science and reflecting on ways to make small, positive shifts in their home school communities.

Looking to the year ahead, we will have the good fortune to deepen the impact of our work with a range of partnerships:

  • The ethi{CS} project team will work closely with Duke professor Aria Chernik and her Open Design Studio to continue to develop a range of materials for teachers that integrate ethical reflection into STEM and computer science classes.
  • In collaboration with the Brace Center for Gender Studies, we will support the Interscholastic Gender Working Group. This group of teachers from several area schools is working closely with Columbia sociology professor Tey Meadow to survey and understand the ways in which New England boarding schools do (and do not) support their trans and non-binary students
  • We will continue our close partnership with Harvard University's Opportunity Insights (OI) and teach its materials in the Workshop as well as our economics and statistics courses. We hope to offer professional development in conjunction with OI in summer 2023.
  • We will continue to partner and collaborate with the Klingenstein Center, hosting their graduate students, undertaking joint research, and sharing Tang Institute resources—as we did with the 2022 Klingenstein Summer Institute and the “Feedback in Practice” document.
  • Workshop students will continue to collaborate with local professors from UMass–Lowell and Harvard as well as educators from across the country.
  • Finally, we will roll out a new Tang Institute website at the year's end. Our close collaboration with Raygun, our design team, has been rich and generative.

Welcome back, everyone. We look forward to the meaningful and enriching school year ahead.

Categories: Fellows, Projects, The Workshop, Partnerships

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