Friday, March 7, 2008

What is Inspired Teaching doing to improve education?

Because of the work of Inspired Teachers and principals, we are changing the way DC’s children are educated one student, one school at a time. And they have shown that we have the potential to do so much more.

For example: here in DC, in Ms. Vee Lindsay’s classroom, students are researching their neighborhood by interviewing residents, traveling to the city archives to uncover old maps and planning documents, conducting surveys, and learning how to use web-based information tools. They’re turning their findings into presentations that they will share with a historical preservation organization. They are learning by doing.

Inspired Teaching is rooted in the belief that every student possesses the ability to think critically, learn and understand information, and solve complex problems—and that students should spend their time in school doing just that.

We believe teachers and principals can be the agents of change who can make this happen.

And the approach works. Our results show that teachers are spending less time dealing with discipline problems and more time teaching. Their students are engaged in more challenging, meaningful work. Not only do test scores rise and attendance rates go up, but students and teachers report that they like school better.

This year, we are working with over 1000 teachers citywide, through our courses, mentoring, and whole school partnerships. And the demand continues to grow-with a waiting list of schools that want to become Inspired Teaching partner schools. We are exploring opportunities to bring Inspired Teaching to students, teachers, and principals outside DC and we’re working alongside the DC school district to help a number of schools slated to merge build a positive culture and build their students’ achievement.

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