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Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation

03 Feb 2016

Chip Houston: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Design Thinking

Chip Houston: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Design Thinking “Design thinking – human-centered problem solving – is messy.” Mount Vernon Head of Middle School Chip Houston provides a case study about learning-environment, space design to frame four strong pieces of advice about actual practice as a design thinker. fuse15 – 12:21 – Filmed June 17, 2015 This MoVe Talk was presented at an official MVIFI event and was featured on mvifi.org. View on YouTube  Bio for Chip Houston at chiphouston.com

01 Feb 2016

The Maker Movement has Something for Everyone | Creative Tension

I learned a valuable lesson Thursday during the MVIFI Dine and Design event. I hate to publicly admit it but I was not looking forward to the event. As a participant in maker sessions in the past I just haven’t enjoyed them that much. It’s not that I haven’t tried to get hooked on the movement. Several years ago I read Silvia Martinez and Gary Stager’s book Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom and I attended their session at […]

31 Jan 2016

Instructional Rounds Debrief, Take 1 | Visible Reflections

Cultivate a culture that is hungry for feedback. When I met Tyler Thigpen, head of upper school, he encouraged me to do just that. I did not know how when I heard his phrase three years ago, but that did not stop me from trying. I tried the line, “May I give you some feedback?” Then I changed my wording to, “May we collaborate on something?” I tried group think, one-on-ones, and dedicated reflection assignments. I tried modeling by asking […]

31 Jan 2016

Instructional Round, The Debrief | Visible Reflections

According to the work of Elizabeth City, Richard Elmore, Sarah Fiarman, and Lee Teitel in their book Instructional Rounds in Education, A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning, the debrief is a time to reflect on practice, discuss observations, analyze work, and grow from it. Three simple steps are described to accomplish this. Taking the time to describe what the observed realized from his or her observation is an important but easily skipped first step. It is necessary to describe […]

31 Jan 2016

Traditional Observation v Instructional Rounds – Chip Houston

In our third year of practicing instructional rounds, I continue to learn and grow in my ability to deliver quality, meaningful feedback to our teachers. They are the best. The top. The elite professionals. I often tell them they are the “Michael Phelps” of education. And even Michael Phelps needs a coach to be the best in his field. I believe instructional rounds is one of the most effective methods to professional growth in education. “A commitment to professional learning […]

31 Jan 2016

Implement Instructional Rounds – Chip Houston

.entry-header Implementing Instructional Rounds Recently, the idea was posed to us about how to implement instructional rounds. I’m so excited at the prospect of sharing this valuable practice with other educators, that my mind began racing. Hundreds of thoughts all crashing together in my mind at the same instant. Pulling out a trusty, white legal pad, I began to scribble down questions. Ah, start with questions. It’s embedded in my DNA. Questions for Schools to Discuss Before IR Can you describe […]

31 Jan 2016

Being a student of your own school. #LearningWalks #InstructionalRounds #Pedagography | it’s about learning

We are a School of inquiry, innovation, and impact. Grounded in Christian values, we prepare all students to be college ready, globally competitive, and engaged citizen leaders. – Mount Vernon Presbyterian School Mission How are you studying your own school? In what ways are you being a student of your own school? Certainly you send folks to conferences like bees sent to collect pollen. It’s likely that you send faculty to other schools to learn from their practices, too. Incredible […]

27 Jan 2016
25 Jan 2016

Designing for a Community of Makers

As the HIVE is coming to completion, the work to (re)define the space begins in earnest. In a previous post, I noted some distinctions between a makerspace and a maker community. You might consider the science lab, art studio, kitchen, or library at your school a makerspace. You might also note that makerspaces vary to a large degree in the tools, spaces, materials, people, and curricular focus. By taking the space totally out of the equation our design challenge became: […]

22 Jan 2016

Podcasts From MVIFI.org

Sharing is a core “what” to who we are as an organization (mvifi.org/shares). We want others to experience what we are doing, thinking and being challenged by. We are excited to announce that we will be bringing two podcasts to our normal share-outs. Design Movement For the past few years Dr. Brett Jacobsen (@jbrettjacobsen) has been hosting Design Movement – a learning and leadership conversation in education, business and the nonprofit community. His show has featured interviews with inspiring leaders such as innovative […]