Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation

17 Oct 2017

Design with Empathy, by Larisa Pender-Healy

Guest post by Larisa Pender-Healy, Middle School Faculty at MVPS. This is post #2 in a series about 7th graders engaging in a design project as biomedical engineers.  === My students were about to embark on a design challenge to create medical solutions that could potentially be used by humans. I couldn’t help but think, how can I mentor them to be better than the medical professionals that I have come across? One memory stood out to me and I […]

15 Oct 2017
08 Oct 2017

Latest Diigo Bookmarks for #MVIFIshares

  Educational Leadership: The Constructivist Classroom: The Courage to Be Constructivist Tags: constructivism #mvifishares shared by Bo Adams The search for understanding motivates students to learn. When students want to know more about an idea, a topic, or an entire discipline, they put more cognitive energy into classroom investigations and discussions and study more on their own. First, constructivist teachers seek and value students’ points of view. Knowing what students think about concepts helps teachers formulate classroom lessons and differentiate instruction on the […]

03 Oct 2017

Design Briefs: Blurring the Line Between School and Real Life

Most people would agree that maths, science, reading, and writing exist outside of the classroom. So why do we teach them in separated classes in school? At Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, connecting students to the world around them plays a big role in establishing the context for student learning. As a third grade teacher, I have taken students out of the classroom and have been amazed at the types of questions and learning the students were capable of. I brought […]

28 Sep 2017
28 Sep 2017

Biomedical Engineers in 7th Grade, by Larisa Pender-Healy

Guest post from Larisa Pender-Healy, Middle School Faculty. This is the first post of a series. === Mount Vernon Capstone Design Project: The Birth Story I learned a very important fact at a Research & Design science team meeting last year: our students have one opportunity to learn the basics of human anatomy… and that is in seventh grade. If students become passionate about this subject, then they have the choice to take an additional elective course in the upper […]

26 Sep 2017

How Will You Make A Difference? – Scaffolding Impact

  Q: How do you make a difference? A: By going out and doing something.   The answer to the question might seem trite, but if you boil it down, it really is as simple as that.   But when educators think about a charge to “help students make a difference”, the clarifying questions educator are often asking themselves are more about the boots-on-the-ground aspect of what difference-making looks like in school.   When you take the long view of […]

22 Sep 2017

Relationships are Foundational for Learning, CTTL Reflection, Ann Marsh Rutledge

Guest Post by Ann Marsh Rutledge, Lower School Learning Coach, MVPS “It is NOT about being student-centered.” (Breathe.) “It is about being centered on the relationships between students and teachers.” I had gotten up from the main lecture to move around, refill my water, refocus and I ran into a colleague doing the same. We chatted quietly in the doorway about our Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL) Academy sessions, what was going well, what wasn’t, and our takeaways so […]

18 Sep 2017

Authentic Learning Adventures: Nicole Martin

In her June 2017 MoVe Talk, Nicole Martin, challenges all learners, adults and children alike, to get outside and start adventuring as seekers and explorers as a means to encounter deep learning experiences.     At Mount Vernon, we are systemically rethinking the way we take students off campus from a run-of-the-mill educational field trip, where students are typically passive consumers. Instead, we’re more focused on our learners being actively involved in the experience through the lenses of observation and […]

14 Sep 2017

It’s Not About the Next Step

I wonder if we are asking the right question. “What do you do next?” “Now what do you do?” “What comes next?” Questions of this ilk inadvertently create a sense of tension between the person asking the question, and the person being asked to answer it, because it implies that the person doing the asking already knows the answer. The person responding has to try and figure out what the “right” answer is to satisfy the person asking. The person […]