Offices & Resources

Purposeful Learning: Center's Educators Meetup a Success
Purposeful Learning: Center's Educators Meetup a Success

On Saturday, May 5, the St. Mark's Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning hosted its inaugural Educator's Meetup event: "Purposeful Learning: A Meetup for Educators in the St. Mark's Community."

An energetic and enthusiastic group of parents, alumni, faculty, and staff gathered in Taft Hall to address issues surrounding education today and to explore new ideas, resources, and approaches that make learning purposeful. The event was conceived, says Center director Colleen Worrell, "Because we were inspired by the impressive numbers of educators in our ranks. Our goal is to have the extended St. Mark's community connect with each other around the work we do in and for schools, and to draw upon our collective experience and wisdom to gain insight from and learn with each other."

By definition, a meetup is an informal conference that allows participants to shape the programming of the day. Sessions were designed around the ideas, expertise, challenges, interests, and questions of the participants.

The meetup began with a pre-event, "Talk over Tapas" at Choate House: an informal open house encouraging conversations around various topics. Then, on Saturday, some two dozen registered participants took part in the six-hour meetup event, facilitated by Dr. Worrell and by John Camp, associate director of the Center at St. Mark's.

The keynote address was delivered remotely by St. Mark's alumnus and noted educator Roland Bart '55. A veteran public school teacher and principal, Roland Barth is the founding director of the Harvard Principal's Center and International Network of Principal's Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is also the author of several books, including Open Education and the American School, Improving Schools from Within, Run School Run, Lessons Learned, and Learning by Heart. Appearing on the screen in Taft Hall from his home in Maine, Dr. Barth's presentation was interactive, insightful, and informative.

Session planning, small group activities, and whole group collaboration highlighted the remainder of the day, including some intense conversations over lunch. Overall, the first-ever Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning Educator's Meetup was a great success.