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Teacher Conference

Every August we turn our campus into a learning laboratory for teachers interested in probing best practices in experiential education.  Our annual Teacher Conference provides a unique opportunity for educators to challenge themselves to become students engaged in sustainable community living and open-learning. We welcome participants who are 6-12 grade teachers, administrators and guidance counselors from across The Bahamas, USA, and beyond. We look forward to sharing ideas with you next summer!

The program dates for 2015 are Sunday, August 2 – Sunday, August 9.

Conference Goals and Highlights teachconf1_web

  • Get exposed to models of place-based learning
  • Share ideas on student assessment in experiential education
  • Re-energize and connect teachers to the sense of wonder that comes from hands-on learning
  • Get immersed in the local environment
  • Morning exercise
  • Explore the geology and geography of Cape Eleuthera
  • Learn about experiential education and curriculum
  • Kayak, SCUBA dive, and snorkel
  • Meet Island School staff and learn about curriculum by participating in classes and research activities
  • Understand the model sustainable systems and marine research programs at Island School, DCMS and CEI
  • Understand the programs, curriculum and methods at Island School, CEI and DCMS and gain ideas for transferring them back home to their own contexts
  • Understand how a sense of place builds curriculum mastery, community, confidence, and capacity for change
  • Value discovery-based open-ended learning experiences and crave the opportunity to create those in their own practices
  • Become part of a network of like-minded educators with resources for future curriculum development and education change
  • Leave with more questions than answers

“The Island School conference gives you the chance to spend a whole week with like-minded educators. You’ll walk away with fresh ideas and classroom strategies for experiential, project-based learning. This conference offers a unique blend of personal and professional growth.”

Topics Coveredteachconf2_web

  • The Island School history, vision, and academic overview
  • Sustainability systems & campus tour
  • SCUBA, kayaking, and snorkeling exploration
  • Geology and geography exploration
  • Seminar topics and teaching styles
  • Island School assessment models
  • Authentic research & scientific presentations
  • Alumni student reflections and perspectives
  • Subject-specific work teams
  • Art, relationship to place, and placebooking
  • Experiential education primer
  • Place Based education resources
  • The role of culture and world views in service learning and place based education
  • Transferring your learning back home and transforming your teaching
  • Community excursions

“The conference was a phenomenal way to reconnect with American teachers, brainstorm about experiential education, and also push myself as a student in every way from the classroom, to scuba diving, to cliff jumping and more.”

Schedule

A typical daily schedule might include:teachcon3_web

7-8 am: Morning exercise
8:15 am: Breakfast
9:15-12:15: Classroom discussion, teaching models
12:15 am: Lunch
1:15-4:15: SCUBA or kayak expedition, science lesson
6:00 pm: Dinner
7:15 pm: Evening debrief of the day

Conference Information

Program dates for 2015 are Sunday, August 2 – Sunday, August 9.

Tuition, room, and board is $900, plus 7.5% value-added tax, not including travel arrangements. Many schools have professional development funds available; contact your principal or dean of faculty to find out more about funding options. If you need scholarship support, please contact us, and we may have support available through the Cape Eleuthera Foundation, and can explore options to find grant money from within your community.

All conference participants will live together in Island School single-sex dorms and eat buffet-style meals at The Island School’s dining hall.

For more information please email teacherconference@islandschool.org.

“This conference was one of the most meaningful professional development opportunities that I have experienced. Living in and learning about place based educational experiences and discussing different components of experiential education was enlightening and I cannot wait to take new ideas back to the classroom. This conference gave me confidence and resources to build a community in my classroom that will focus on “living well” in our space and incorporate project based learning.”

Registration Information

Initial registration can be completed via an online form, found here. After your initial regsitration, we’ll contact you directly with confirmation details, payment information, and all other event details. Please feel free to contact us at teacherconference@islandschool.org with any questions that you might have.