A Shift in Instruction: Online MSTV Course Excites Stark Educators
In order to to expand and refine their skills, educators are constantly participating in professional development - both during the school year and over the summer. This results in classroom changes that better prepare students to be lifelong learners.
Over the past three years, more than 250 greater Stark County educators from 19 school districts and other agencies, have made an extraordinary commitment by joining a multi-year project that intensifies their skills and allows them to provide guidance to impact other regional educators. Through an intensive course - Making Student Thinking Visible (MSTV) - they are working alongside colleagues to shift their classroom practices from teachers as 'giver of knowledge', to teachers as 'designer of thoughtful questions and engaging work'.
Making Student Thinking Visible was designed by Research for Better Teaching experts, Jon Saphier and Lucy West.
In it, participants dive deeply into the operating principles of cultivating a 'talk environment', developing student confidence, relinquishing control of the classroom, and extending student capacity to manage discussions. All of this effort is to ensure that students are prepared with effective communications, problem solving, and decision-making skills to succeed in college and the workplace.
While Stark educators implement MSTV strategies in their classrooms and schools, they also attend coaching and networking sessions facilitated by consultants from the Stark County Educational Service Center and State Support Team. These face-to-face cross district training sessions have provided opportunities for educators to expand the impact of these strategies and successes for Stark students.
Candace Hazelwood is a State Support Team Region 9 consultant serving as one of the coaches for the course. She shared that "MSTV gives teachers the 'what and how' for using high quality strategies that help all students achieve, have a sense of belonging and have an understanding that (as Jon Saphier says) smart is something you can get. The course, along with team planning and coaching, has allowed teachers to get excited about their instruction and how to better serve all students. I have never seen so many high quality strategies that have been taken directly back to classroom practice as those from MSTV."
The course and coaching have been funded by the Stark County Educational Service Center, State Support Team Region 9, local school districts and Stark Education Partnership.