Hathaway Brown Education Innovation Summit. 2012. Everybody’s children

An energizing meeting of independent school educators from around the US. Here’s a taste of the topics and conversations. Feel free to ask questions and I’ll be happy to share more. I was able to attend 5 working sessions, the keynote – Thomas Friedman, and a fascinating presentation about character education. I’ve ordered multiple copies of the books referred to for the library.

Twitter #Hbsummit12

Session 1. SHATTERING SILOS. Is.gd/hb12silos

Presented by Windward LA. All the information of on the link above. We worked in small groups to share ideas and models for bridging departments to make the connections between teachers and curricula.

Some ideas in place in other schools include: mini semesters; 1 day at the end of each 10 day rotation; blocks for teacher collaboration built into schedule; begin with model that is not reliant on full faculty cooperation – optional; each Wednesday afternoon is designed as a block for cross curricular projects.

How to find the resources? Innovation derby; innovation fund; grand rounds; lunch bunch (teacher leads a mini seminar on a topic during lunch)

Session 2. GLOBALIZATION presented by Lawrenceville School

Globalization and its Discontents by Joseph Stiglitz,
Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers by Kwame Appiah

Course designed to reach across disciplines and serve as basis for senior capstone projects. Discusses levels of interdependence, depth of integration, scale, causes, chronology, trajectory, impact, policy outcomes.


That Used to be Us by Thomas Friedman

We’ve spent the decade after 9/11 chasing the losers of globalization instead of the winners – India and China. Our challenges are 1. financial/economic 2. energy sustainability 3. merger of globalization and IT revolution.

What does that mean for education? Global curve is rising. Average is over. Educators have tore pare students to enter value added world. In some cases students will be inventing their jobs. Critical reasoning and problem solving are most marketable skills.

Toffler: “new literacy is the ability to learn and unlearn”.

PRESENTATION BY PAUL TOUGH. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character.

In conversation with Bill Christ, headmaster Hathaway Brown YouTube video

Interview with Ira Glass, This American Life podcast

Set of skills that determine child’s success, non-cognitive skills. Biology of stress – early trauma has connection to long term health outcomes and leads to development of stress response system (stress/comfort/calm). Intense chronic stress is toxic and affects executive function which in turn influences school performance.

Early childhood and adolescence are times when intervention can be successful. Development of metacognition. Time for character education. GRIT involves self discipline and passion. GRIT test as predictor of success Character report card. Kipp Infinity Charter School. Riverdale Country Day.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck if you believe that intelligence is malleable you do better because you believe you can do better or improve. IQ can’t change, but mindset can. SLANT. Attention, self-control, zest, curiosity. Independent school kids are protected, not challenged. Grit is developed as a response to failure. Moderate amounts of adversity might be good for us. Gives us a way to practice and manage failure.

Chess champions from MS 318 in Brooklyn. In chess no matter how good you are you will fail at times. Don’t repeat failures, relay game, develop strategies for improvement. We can help, offer constructive criticism, don’t become complacent.

Session 3. LEARNING IN THE DIGITAL AGE. Eric Sheninger. Principal, New MIlford HS, NJ.

Enhance professional practice as a school leader using digital media. Those in charge of leading schools into the 21st century are often least knowledgable about the 21st century. 21st century educator: Adaptor, communicator, life long learner, visionary, leader, risk taker, collaborator.

What we don’t understand we often think is stupid or not useful. TWITTER enables conversations with other educators.

The social media revolution. allows us to: Involve, create, discuss, promote, measure – self driven. Must learn to use digital tools, Web 2.0, integrated technology for:

Communication. – Twitter and Facebook. What is your school doing? What’s happening in the classroom? Real time communication with students, parents, NMHS Facebook page.

Public relations. – don’t want to leave to chance. Tell your own story, using social media and digital resources. Video, pictures, blogs. Esheninger.blogspot.com .

Branding. – Must leverage images, strengths, link to desirable traits like innovation, creativity, collaboration. Hype your brand. Your students

Professional growth and development. – can learn 24/7 anywhere, anytime. Real time. Cost effective. Connect with some of best minds in the field. Create a personal learning network. PLP Www.connectedprincipals.com. Empower teachers to make a change that will have a lasting impact on their students. Give them time. Professional growth period is embedded in model. Cut all non instructional responsibilities in half. Have to present learning portfolio as part of assessment. Then give them digital tools they need

Engagement. – glogsterEDU, google, poll everywhere, Skype, wordles, prezi, WordPress, Teachers open to other ideas and ways to engage students. Digital citizenship

Session 4. EDUCATING EVERYBODY’S CHILDREN. Linda Darling-Hammond, Stamford Univ.

The skills that are easiest to teach and test are the easiest to digitize, automate, outsource. Learning must go deeper.


Principles of Good Practice (PGP) Accountability is now integral. Responsibility falls to head of school and trustees. Nb. #4. Training and support for all stakeholders.

Identity development. Who are we? And should it matter in the 21st century? by Gary Younge

Equality is: everyone gets a T-shirt; Equity is: everyone gets a T-shirt that fits them.

4 key elements: skills based, ongoing….

Cross-cultural effectiveness skills
Cultural self-awareness
Cultural intelligence. (CQ)
Countering oppression through inclusion. Mission of all that we do. Diversity statement.

Values diversity.
“I make a conscious effort to teach the culture of the school to those who are new or unfamiliar”


About sharris

Ninth Grade Dean, English Teacher, Community Service Advisor, Girl's Rugby Coach at The Harvey School - an independent 6-12 school in Westchester County
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