NEIA had the pleasure of hosting OESIS’s “Classes of the Future” Conference. The conference included over 50 presentations: workshops, panels, and innovative classes of the future. It was a great opportunity to engage with, speak to, and hear from the OESIS Network, a faculty-focused innovation network of over 600 independent schools and thousands of teachers.
We wish we could have been in every room to hear every discussion and presentation. In “The Agile Classroom, the Agile Mind,” teachers explored ways to make group projects fun for students. Chaka Cummings from the Association for Teaching Black History in Kentucky held a workshop titled “Thematic Teaching of Marginalized People’s History” that focused on starting with a definition of marginalization and then finding the best ways to tell that story. Cummings advocated for less focus on power and oppression and more curation of individual experiences.
NEIA’s amazing staff also presented our processes and founding philosophies. Tom Woelper, Ana, and Greg gave a presentation titled “How to Build a School Immersed in Human-Centered Design,” spreading the word about how NEIA created the school these educators were standing in. Tim held a workshop on Integrated Science, going through the history of science textbooks that he called “tombs of knowledge.” Tim said, “I’ve had to explain integration a lot to guardians because it’s not what they’re used to seeing.” Camp, Head of Teaching & Learning at NEIA, led a workshop on how our competency-based assessment system has changed students’ outlooks. “Students [at NEIA] don’t get graded. They get measured on their skills. We’ve definitely been able to de-emphasize letter grades.”
We appreciate all the presenters, including our staff, who are helping push education to new ground.