Having teachers partner with a local college for professional development is providing benefits to their students in writing and critical thinking.
Teachers from the Pine Plains Central School District are working with professors at Bard College thanks to a partnership between the college and the school district. Teachers who are in subject areas other than English work with their students on writing projects related to their discipline.
“After students complete a project, they have to actually write down what went well, what didn’t go well and what they would do in the future to make it more successful,” said technology teacher Nick Dean.
The college’s Institute for Writing and Thinking is having middle and high school teachers meet with Bard faculty for workshops and conferences, with a goal to develop teaching strategies based on writing.
According to the Institute’s website, teacher find out “how they can lead their students to discover and interpret meaning rather than simply set out to find answers, engage in productive dialogue, and learn the critical thinking skills that support academic writing and learning in all subject areas.”
The Pines Plains initiative is coordinated by program associate Mary Krembs. In showing teachers how to work writing into lesson plans “we are hoping that the students come away with a deeper understanding of the content they’re working on,” she said.