Friday, June 22, 2001
Waters Foundation grant funds teacher development
"The $87,000 received from the Waters Foundation for the year 2000-2001 has been put to good use," said technology integration specialist David Mayall as he presented the School's annual report on the use of the funds to the Carlisle School Committee (CSC) on June 5. The report, prepared by Carlisle School Business Manager Eileen Riley, is impressive, said Mayall. "The grant has given the school the funds to encourage professional development for the teachers."
The Systems Dynamics approach to student learning has been integrated in the curriculum in five grades. Behavior-over-time graphs have been used in different areas of the curriculum by teacher Gene Stamell in the Grade 3 math and language arts curriculum, by Teacher Carolyn Platt in the Grade 6 language arts curriculum, and teacher Jen Putnam in the grade 5 computer modeling unit. To help the students understand complex systems the tool called Causal Loop Diagraming has been used by teacher Julia Hendrix in the Grade 5 science curriculum and the unit on social competency ,and teacher Jim Trierweiler in the grade 8 science curriculum.
Two courses relevant to Systems Dynamics have been developed in "Carlisle College," a series of courses to enhance teacher development, given in Carlisle, that are open to all teachers in the area.
The grant has also allowed several teachers to attend workshops, write papers to be presented at conferences and provided the time for Carlisle teachers to learn together on Tuesday afternoons. It has enabled visits by outside educators such as a group of twenty-seven from Holland in March and the Systems Dynamics creator, Professor Jay Forrester from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mayall concluded the report by saying, "Powerful things happen when you get the teachers together." CSC Chair Suzanne Whitney Smith agreed and said, "The funds from the Grant help staff come and be together. The getting together harnesses the deep talents of the teachers."
The Carlisle School has requested $85,000 to continue the Systems Dynamics initiative in the fiscal school year 2001-2002.
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