Asheville School’s Project Connect hosts summer institute June 12-14

Press release

From Asheville School:

On June 12-14, Project Connect will host its inaugural Summer Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies on Asheville School‘s 300-acre campus in West Asheville. Made possible by a grant from the E.E. Ford Foundation, Project Connect is a 3-day institute where educators will explore the unique curricular approach from Asheville School’s nationally acclaimed Humanities program in addition to interdisciplinary programs at other schools.

The purpose of Project Connect is to connect schools, public and independent, interested in interdisciplinary work. Registration for Project Connect is open now via our website. Special pricing is available for schools sending more that one teacher. Some financial assistance is available upon request.
On Wednesday, June 12, Project Connect will begin by welcoming to campus keynote speaker and New York Times best-selling author Allan Gurganus. To set the tone for interdisciplinary inquiry, Gurganus will present an unpublished essay titled, “If Fiction is One Form of History, How is History Itself Not Fictional?”

Over the course of the following day and a half, participants will attend both work sessions and case studies.

“The work sessions are intended to be participatory and practical,” says James Pharr, Director of Project Connect. “In them, small groups of participants will learn from an educator with experience in a particular aspect of interdisciplinary education. In addition, there will be time for participants, with the help of the facilitator, to begin making plans for implementing new ideas in their classrooms or schools.”

Sessions include:
“Interdisciplinary Assessment? Focus on the Disciplines”
Blake Eldridge – The Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, NJ

“Connection, Contradiction and Content Reading Packets and the Discussion-Based Classroom”
Ralph Sneeden – Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH
“Planning an Interdisciplinary Unit”
Trey and Sarah Wilson – The Laurel School, Shaker Heights, OH

“Introduction to STEM education — An Experiential Workshop”
Tom Heck – STEM Educator, Maker, Geek Dad, Asheville, NC

“Experiential Education in the Interdisciplinary Classroom”
Ed Maggart – Asheville School, Asheville, NC
“The Nuts and Bolts: Scheduling, Grading, Team-teaching, and Training for Interdisciplinary Work”
John Gregory – Asheville School, Asheville, NC

“Coached Paideia Projects: Student discovery through Paideia Seminars and Connected Learning Experiences”
Amanda Swartzlander and Mark Jankowski – Asheville Middle School, Asheville, NC
“Managing Interdisciplinarity: Lessons Learned in Curriculum Design, Institutional Transformation, and Program Sustainability”
Professor Ed Katz and Professor Keith Krumpe – University of North Carolina – Asheville

Additional sessions led by:
Jamie Spragins – Gilman School, Baltimore, MD
Professor Sally Wasileski – University of North Carolina – Asheville
Professor Grace Campbell – University of North Carolina – Asheville
The case studies, modeled after TED talks, will be whole group sessions in which educators present brief (20 min.) narratives on some aspect of their experience with interdisciplinary studies.

Case Studies include:
“Adventures in Interdisciplinary Studies at Hawken School”
Dorothy Moulthrop and Julia Griffin – Hawken School, Cleveland, OH

“Design, Empathy, Story: Making Space(s) for Learning”
Laura Deisley and Bernadette May-Beaver – The Lovett School, Atlanta, GA

“Approaching School Days as Architecture: Building Academic Schedules to Unlock Interdisciplinary Potential”
Ross Peters – The Westminster Schools, Atlanta, GA
“The Humanities Marriage: How to nurture and sustain an interdisciplinary curriculum”
Chris Carter – St. Paul’s School, Concord, NH

“Phys/Calc: An Interdisciplinary approach to integrating Math and Science”
Tom Taylor – Riverdale Country School, Bronx, NY

“What If They Protest? Planning (and Surviving) a School-wide Interdisciplinary Event”
Jim Gardner – Asheville School, Asheville, NC

Additional Case Studies by:
Will Yeiser – French Broad River Academy

While sharing fresh perspectives on interdisciplinary learning, Project Connect will also share delicious local food with its participants. Registration includes six meals furnished by local food providers including: 12 Bones, Gypsy Queen Cuisine, Dough, and The Century Room at Pack’s Tavern. For more information about our program, visit our website.


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