….New initiatives result of feedback at two-day INSPIRE 2014 conference…
WINCHESTER, MA – November 4, 2014 — The National Institute for Student-Centered Education (NISCE) today announced that, based on feedback from its INSPIRE 2014 conference, it will expand and enhance its mission-driven programs with a clearer emphasis on practical applications and approaches to student-centered education, and enhancing its focus and strategies to respond to educators’ concerns about the efficacy and policies of standardized testing.
Approximately 300 education stakeholders from across the country and around the world attended last month’s INSPIRE 2014 conference to share best practices, discuss new approaches, and learn about real-world education issues, including gender-specific learning challenges, leadership, school-business partnerships, technology’s role in 21st century education, and students’ behavioral/emotional developmental challenges.
World class education leaders like Will Richardson, author of Why School? How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere; Diana Laufenberg, managing director of Inquiry Schools; and Amy Carrier, founder of Empowerment Through Education, delivered keynote addresses during the two-day event.
The annual conference, now in its second year, unites education stakeholders – teachers, administrators, policy makers, parents, mentors and students – who collectively call for a more student-centered approach in K-12 education.
“By nearly every metric, INSPIRE 2014 was a success,” said Theodore H. Wilson, III, Ph.D., president and executive director of NISCE. “Our attendees are passionate and committed educators from across the country and around the world with the unifying mission to teach, learn and collaborate on ways in which we can all put our students at the center of our educational environments.”
Based on the interest generated by many of INSPIRE 2014’s sessions, NISCE will expand and enhance its already popular webinar series in the upcoming months, inviting educators to participate in the series as often as twice a month. Already scheduled webinars include Project-Based Learning Through a Maker’s Lens, Care and Feeding of the Hyper-Rational Adolescent Brain, The Multiplayer Classroom, No Child Left Behind in My Classroom, and a three part series on differentiated instruction by John McCarthy, executive director of Opening Paths, a resource that helps schools design, improve and implement instructional systems that support positive changes that benefit the best interests of their students.
In the coming months, NISCE will expand and enhance its role in setting the agenda for discussions about standardized testing. Many educators at INSPIRE 2014 were feeling increasing pressure to find ways to measure their students’ growth without sacrificing their curiosity and growth. NISCE may reach out to other like-minded organizations as it develops its strategies and messages around standardized testing.
“Assessment and achievement metrics have always been of considerable interest to NISCE,” said Wilson. “As a result of the groundswell we heard at INSPIRE 2014, we will dedicate more energy in the coming months to exploring ways in which we can use our collective voices to influence change. We will work to promote our belief that students must always be engaged and inspired to learn, and that assessments must be flexible enough to measure achievement on many different levels. We must always do what’s right for children.”
In addition, NISCE has agreed to review Monica Martinez’s planning guide for schools preparing to focus on student-centered learning. The planning guide is a companion to Martinez’s Deeper Learning: How Eight Innovative Public Schools Are Transforming Education in the Twenty-First Century. A guest at INSPIRE 2014, Martinez has spent more than 20 years directing and researching major education innovation and reform initiatives, and is commissioner of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
Founded in 2012 by the Massachusetts nonprofit Schools for Children, Inc., The National Institute for Student-Centered Education (NISCE) catalyzes grassroots support for a vision of education where students—not politics, not tests, not expediency—are at the center of learning, and where all students have the opportunities and resources they need to succeed. NISCE is headquartered in Winchester, Massachusetts.
National Institute for Student-Centered Education (NISCE)