Transformative experiences and adoption of innovative practices are fundamental goals of Nations' teachers
From November 15 to 18, three teachers from School of the Nations participated in the "Introduction to Modeling Instruction" workshop at the International School of Curitiba. Our educators, Ms. Mirella Kacinskis, biology teacher for High School, Mr. Rodrigo Santiago, science teacher for Middle School, and Ms. Jessica Delavechia, chemistry teacher for High School, shared their transformative experiences after four days of intense immersion in the course.
Modeling Instruction, a research-guided teaching approach that organizes instruction around a coherent narrative of model development, was the focus of the workshop. The methodology demonstrated a significant improvement in students' conceptual knowledge compared to traditional methods, aligning with NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards), IB (International Baccalaureate), and AP (Advanced Placement) standards.
According to Ms. Mirella, the workshop was a unique opportunity to explore new teaching techniques within the classroom. "I learned a lot, not only the strategies we were exploring but also the content itself. It brought valuable insights to my practice. I believe we are trying to implement in the classroom the profound understanding we acquired."
Mr. Rodrigo emphasized the importance of reflection during the event: "We questioned things we had never thought to question. The richest part was the exchange of experiences with people doing the same as me but in a broader field. It's rare for us to have this opportunity, and sharing experiences about Nations' reality was enriching."
Furthermore, Ms. Jessica highlighted the school's distinctive feature: "Having this opportunity made it clear the power of professionals that Nations has and how well-positioned our teachers are in the job market. This exchange of experiences allowed me to see that, compared to other schools, our school is at an excellent level of learning and teaching."
In addition to pedagogical improvement, our teachers are now part of AMTA (American Modeling Teachers Association), a dynamic community that promotes Modeling Instruction. Benefits include adaptable pedagogy, an official certificate of participation, a one-year membership to AMTA with access to instructional materials, online professional development, and a continuous exchange of experiences with a like-minded teacher community. Additionally, they will receive ongoing support from the workshop leaders when implementing the pedagogy.
The culmination of their learnings will be presented during the pedagogical week of the second semester of the academic year 2023-24, where they will share their knowledge about Modeling Instruction with coordinators, teachers, counselors, and learning support staff to provide students with the best educational experiences.
This professional development event not only enriched educational practices but also positioned Escola das Nações' teachers as leaders in innovative teaching methods in the educational market.