Summer Professional Learning
At the Hollyhock Summer Institute, fellows participate in a sequence of research-based professional development. The institute engages the fellows in four programmatic goals:
- improve instruction by focusing on core practices of teaching
- strengthen pedagogical content knowledge
- foster ways to develop equitable learning opportunities for all students
- build professional community within and across participating schools
The core-content sessions—English, history/social science, math, and science— focus on expanding the fellows’ content knowledge and pedagogical approach to teaching to equitably benefit all students they teach. Every fellow has an opportunity to apply the concepts learned in a rehearsal structure by enacting core practices of teaching in front of small groups of other fellows and receiving feedback. Opportunities to examine issues of equity in cross-content sessions will include conversations with fellows about equity in the context of schools, instruction, and teacher leadership.
In English, we will examine how teachers create the conditions for students to engage in deep interpretive work with texts. In Year 1 of the program, the focus will be upon intuitive strategies that help students read text more critically, as well as facilitation moves that lead to rigorous classroom discussion. Fellows will have opportunities to reconsider the texts they employ in their curriculum, and understand how to leverage ambiguity in these texts to craft authentic questions that ignite and propel rich discussion. Year 2 takes up where Year 1 left off, challenging fellows to consider how students’ reading and discussions of texts can be leveraged in service of student’s interpretive writing. We will also discuss how to create writing tasks with audiences beyond the teacher and explore the role discussion plays in a student-centered revision process.
In history, we focus on three core practices: developing and posing questions to frame engaging lesson plans; modeling the effective use of historical thinking skills; and facilitating rigorous classroom discussions using SHEG (Stanford History Education Group) principles. In Year 2, fellows deepen their understanding of facilitating discussion through learning how to leverage formative assessment practices.
Our work will primarily focus on the core practice of discussion where we will use ideas from 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Discussions (Smith and Stein, NCTM Press) as a framework. In Year 1, fellows will work in small groups to develop task-based units that include formative tasks and can be customized for different contexts and student needs. In Year 2 of the fellowship, fellows will focus on facilitating productive small group work with an emphasis on understanding student group dynamics and the role of teacher conferrals during group work.
In science, we will focus on several key areas: fostering equity in the science classroom, understanding how to teach science core ideas and science practices, facilitating class discussions, and developing coherent science units. Over the course of two years, fellows will participate in science experiences that are rooted in inquiry and science practices. Fellows will unpack the teacher moves and instructional practices needed to implement these types of lessons in their classrooms. Fellows will learn about the core practice of classroom discussion and delve deep into the idea of authentic science discourse. Fellows will explore equitable learning opportunities for all students and will specifically learn how to apply the Hollyhock Equity Principles in their instructional practice. Science instructional coaches will work side-by-side with fellows throughout the summer institute as well as the school year to develop coherent science units that integrate key ideas from the science content sessions.
Your school team will serve as a safe and supportive lab space to share and push your learning and growth during the two years of the fellowship in service of equitable outcomes for your collective students. Having like-minded colleagues with whom you can debrief and delve deep on teaching practice is an essential component to sustaining your work and maximizing the impact of your team’s fellowship experience. Research shows that having a supportive community in the school setting impacts teachers in positive ways (Grossman, Wineburg, & Woolworth, 2001) and that teachers who find their work SUSTAINABLE at their schools will grow and thrive in their teaching careers. Teacher TEAMS are an essential component of teacher sustainability (Johnson, Reinhorn, & Simon, 2016, 2018). You will do pieces of this school-team collaboration in sessions during each summer institute, and you’ll continue this collaboration during your school-team meetings throughout the fellowship.
Instructional and school-team coaching during the school year supports and extends the Hollyhock summer experience. As part of a networked professional community, fellows meet virtually each month with their Stanford coaches and other fellows from their school team or their content area. Over the course of nine video-conference sessions, fellows upload video of their classroom teaching in order to improve instructional practice, share resources such as lesson plans and supplemental materials, delve into issues of equity in their classroom, and build a community with each other that enriches their experience in the education profession.