Summer is Here: Professional Development Programs at the Friday Institute


July 11, 2011— While the lazy days of summer rest upon North Carolina State University, the doors at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation remain swinging. Through them will walk K-12 teachers, administrators, superintendents, professors and community and government officials from throughout North Carolina and across the nation. These educational leaders are here to attend professional development workshops and institutes, on topics including math, literacy, technology, leadership and evaluation.

“The summer is certainly an exciting time at the Friday Institute,” said Dr Glenn Kleiman, Executive Director. “We are continuing several annual institutes that have been very successful in prior years and are adding new ones this year. The energy and commitment from the hundreds of participating educators—administrators as well as teachers—can be felt throughout the building and our staff, faculty and consultants who lead these institutes benefit as much as the participants.”

This week the Scale Up project team is hosting a group of Algebra teachers. The Scale Up project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, educates rural teachers in using the Virtual Computing Lab and its advanced mathematics software. This team will back working with Geometry teachers next week.

While advanced mathematics software is being conquered on the second floor, the evaluation team will be hosting school district teams from the STEM Initiative sponsored by Golden LEAF downstairs. The Golden LEAF Foundation funds projects that help turn North Carolina’s youth towards careers requiring skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Friday Institute sessions will guide the district teams in planning to evaluate their programs.

Mid-July brings the fourth year of the popular Leading Innovation Institute to the Friday Institute with professional development for 1:1 laptop learning environment schools. Education specialists lead teacher and administrative teams through an intensive institute focusing on best practices to enhance and assist 1:1 initiatives currently in North Carolina’s schools.

The New Literacies Institute premiered in 2009 at the Friday Institute for North Carolina teacher leaders. Since it began, the professional development session has traveled to Massachusetts and Beijing, China, but it will be back in Raleigh this summer, July 25-29. They will host 50 teachers from North Carolina, along with a group of visiting teachers from Beijing, to show how to implement new literacies and project-based inquiry in their classrooms. This Institute will also prepare participants to provide leadership for their schools and districts to create engaging and challenging learning experiences for students.

Teams from four Northeast North Carolina middle schools will be attending the Innovation Leaders Academy on July 27. This project conducts research into change processes that are essential in creating more effective leadership models in school systems.

The MINDSET project has also been hosting teachers for professional development workshops since 2009. MINDSET—the Mathematics INstruction using Decision Science and Engineering Tools project—focuses on designing, implementing and evaluating a new 4th year high school mathematics mathematics curriculum based upon operations research and industrial engineering. The idea is to teach math with a focus on decision-making that will improve a students’ engagement in mathematics. MINDSET, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, will hold its annual workshop August 1-9.

Project AIM was funded last summer with a five-year, $2.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation. This summer, they will be hosting their first summer institute mid-August. The researchers are developing a “math talk” curriculum for second-grade teachers across Wake County, and working with the district’s math coaches to provide professional development to all second-grade teachers.

These events are invitation only and require registration. For more information please see the Friday Institute website. The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation is a center for fostering collaborations to improve education by bringing together students, teachers, researchers, policy-makers, educational professionals and community members.

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