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Getting to the Heart of Education: Relationships that Revolutionize School Culture

Session 4
Kate Rizzi, Mike Carson — McLean School of Maryland

Student-centered instruction is not a flash in the pan trend; it is here to stay. It is the linchpin of 21st century teaching and learning. If our students are to thrive in an unpredictable future, it is time to shift instruction—and to keep shifting instruction—with their authentic interests foremost in mind.

The McLean School Head, Mike Saxenian, envisions a place where students have agency and authority over their learning, not only answering questions, but asking questions of themselves and each other. We are working with classroom teachers to realize this vision, evolving from an inherited industrial age model, with students often “sitting and getting”… and “giving” the correct answer. Middle School Academic Technologist, Mike Carson, and Instructional Coach, Kate Rizzi, form partnerships with faculty members to alter the culture from inside their school.

With our colleagues, we hope to create a learning community in which all members share, reflect on, and learn from their successes and failures. We have just begun, but we can see small, positive steps towards student-driven learning. We will share what we have learned from this process of self-reflection and mutual support. Where are you in the process of revolutionizing education? What have you learned? How can we support one another?

Conversational Practice

We will share several short highlights of our work, along with examples of challenges we experience at our growing edge. We will ask participants to identify and talk about where they are in the process of initiating reflective teaching practices in their schools. Serving as facilitators, we will join our Educon colleagues in learning with and from each other.

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Presenter Profiles

Michael Carson
Michael Carson
McLean School of Maryland
Kate Rizzi
Kate Rizzi
McLean School


Michael Carson

Here is a document that we will be using during the workshop: https://docs.google.com/a/mcleanschool.org/document/d/161kgAzDlZTN1VGmP1SX2MB5BEIq-71bFCEo99a0szJw/edit?usp=sharing

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