We help teachers hone their content knowledge, classroom strategies, and evolving theoretical understandings of how children learn. We are not a short-term program or canned curriculum script. Rather, we work side-by-side with educators to make sense of existing curriculum tools—helping teachers apply these tools in meaningful ways in their own inquiry-based workshops.
The foundation of our work is a visiting scholars series that brings the nation’s most respected education experts to our community, helping to bridge the gaps between theory and practice. In each specific content area, our scholars help teachers foster efficacy above and beyond a checklist of skills. Teachers spend 6-20 full hours in conversation with our guest scholars at each session and develop a relationship with scholars–and other participating educators–over time. Teachers consistently identify this as one of their favorite outcomes of PD with us: building a diverse, nationwide professional community in which they feel valued and empowered.
Effective teaching is similar across disciplines. It includes a combination of whole class mini-lessons, time for independent work, conferring one-on-one with students, and intentional sharing that highlights important discoveries. The work is inquiry-based—teaching students how to think through an overarching question, problem or project rather than simply regurgitate rote facts and procedures—and requires teachers to embrace a developmental approach to education that values students’ existing knowledge and understanding of the world.
In short, workshop teaching is authentic, with students tackling questions and activities that resemble the work of professionals in the field being studied. In this way, workshop teaching best prepares students for a lifetime of academic, workplace, and personal success.
Because many educators in the Indiana Partnership for Young Writers community have participated in our programs for 15+ years, we know this is valuable training that teachers carry with them throughout their careers.