2017 Hawken School

The 12th Annual Independent Schools Experiential Education Network (ISEEN) Institute was held January 17-20, 2017 and hosted by Hawken School in Cleveland, Ohio. Hawken has been been leading the way for years with its dynamic approach to integrating experiential learning through a modified schedule, two annual three-week Intensives, and extensive faculty professional development. The theme of the Institute was urban place-based education, but the institute was valuable to all schools as the concepts can translate to any location.

All participants experienced the following:

  • Hands-on interactive learning of place-based education concepts and delivery, along with tangible takeaways.
  • Extensive learning by doing while exploring Hawken's approaches to delivering and integrating experiential education both on campus and in the city of Cleveland.
  • Guided and thoughtful opportunities for reflection connected to learning and application of that learning to your school or program.
  • Model Program and Practices "Show and Tell" learning lab.
  • Multiple opportunities to immerse in an "area of interest " (outdoor/adventure education, global education, service learning, and administration ) and make deep connections with like-minded educators and discuss topics relevant to each area.
  • Extended time for informal networking through longer break periods, dynamic activities, and group dinners.

Optional Pre-Institute Workshops Included the following:

An Experiment in Intercultural Competence; a deep dive into the practice of effective inclusivity and diversity, 8:00-11:00am, $75.00

Workshop Description: Schools work hard to insure that cultural understanding and inclusivity are at the forefront of our communities. We strive to fill our schools with ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic diversity, we embrace internationalism, and we know the benefits of inclusivity in education. But now that our schools are diverse and inclusive, what comes next? How do we move past tolerance to acceptance? What can we do with the diversity that we have?

Part social experiment and part collaborative discussion, this workshop will introduce topics of intercultural competence and empathy through a perspective-taking exercise that asks participants to play roles in a simulation requiring highly developed intercultural skills. We will use the activity to contextualize each of our schools’ approaches to international, ethnic and religious diversity and offer strategies to harness the power of difference.

Participants will take and examine the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a popular assessment in IC development, and learn strategies for teaching intercultural competence and creativity through challenge-based experiential activities. Participants will also have the option of reviewing their own IDI score at a scheduled time later in the conference.

Presenter Bios:

  • Eileen Kelly-Aguirre joined SYA as Executive Director in 2014 from The Gunnery in Washington, Connecticut where she was serving as Associate Head for Strategic Partnerships and Global Programs after almost 20 years serving in academic, curricular and faculty leadership roles. In her role as Executive Director at SYA, Kelly-Aguirre is responsible for overseeing SYA’s four schools in Italy, Spain, France and China, leading on building strategic partnerships with educational associations, overseeing curriculum development, and managing the Academic Office. Kelly-Aguirre received her undergraduate education at Wesleyan, her Master’s degree from Middlebury and completed her doctoral coursework in Education Leadership at Central Connecticut State University.
  • Aric Visser is the Director of Curriculum at School Year Abroad (SYA). Before Joining SYA in 2014 he was most recently a Spanish Instructor at Lake Forest Academy in Illinois. At SYA, Aric directs all research-based initiatives and manages the curriculum at all four SYA campuses. He is a frequent speaker on topics of international and intercultural education, both in the U.S. and abroad. Visser is also a doctoral candidate at the University of Zaragoza in Spain. His Doctoral Thesis, Study Abroad on Purpose: Growth in intercultural competence and creativity in a sample of U.S. secondary students, follows two recent studies of student growth in SYA students abroad. He currently lives in Rennes, France.

Integrating Experiential Education into the Classroom: An Active Exploration into Bolstering Your Own School's Efforts, 8:00-11:00am $75.00

Workshop Description: Come work with three educators from diverse programs and schools as they offer different examples of successful integration of Experiential Education into the classroom. The presenters will give concrete examples from their school on the successes, but also the challenges, of enriching the classroom experience through EE. This is a workshop so come prepared to learn but also to develop a mechanism for bringing the ideas back to your own school. Participants will be expected to bring materials from their school to work on a specific lesson, unit, department or school plan for integrating EE.

Presenter Bios:

  • Kevin Cook, Director of Service & International Experiences at St. Michaels University School in Victoria, BC: Kevin has had a wide range of experiences during the past thirty-five plus years in education at Public and Independent Schools. Roles have included: Director of Service, Residence and University Advising as well as Deputy Director of Senior School, Senior Houseparent, teacher of Mathematics, Chemistry, Health & Career education and coach of rugby and rowing. This includes serving as an active member of the Senior Management and Leadership Teams. Education background includes a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from The Klingenstein Center of Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. Currently he is on the board of the Independent Schools Experiential Educators Network and is past chair of the board for Oak Bay United Church. Life experiences have also included some success at athletics as both a national level player and coach.
  • Sandra Smith is an educator from Nichols School in Buffalo, NY. She holds a BA in biology from Amherst College and a MS in environmental engineering science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. During her 19 year tenure at Nichols, Ms. Smith has designed and implemented a 7th grade science curriculum that introduces principles of chemistry through the lens of water, environmental resources, the Great Lakes, and Western New York. She has created numerous innovative interdisciplinary projects with her colleagues at Nichols, highlighting the interconnectedness of science, visual art, English, math, and history with experience and place. In addition to her work in the classroom, Ms. Smith is deeply involved in education, outreach, and professional development in the Great Lakes region, working with organizations such as the Center for Great Lakes Literacy, NY Sea Grant, Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper, USFWS, the University at Buffalo, and Buffalo State College.
  • George Zaninovich is the PLACE (Planning and Leadership Across City Environments) Programs and The CENTER director a for Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Oregon. PLACE programs are open to youth throughout the region who are interested in using real-world problem solving to be leaders for substantive positive community change. The CENTER is an innovative community coalition-led hub for children and youth creativity, engagement, and education. As a longtime advocate of progressive and experiential education that puts students in real-world leadership postings, George also established EECO (Environmental Education and Community Outreach) for Peninsula School in Menlo Park, CA, created a hands-on, urban issues-based course for Global Online Academy, co-authored a curriculum guide entitled Make Your Place: A Guide to Facilitating Youth Civic Engagement, and worked on multiple community projects around the Portland region. George has presented his work in varying forums around the country and worked with teachers from around the world on authentic ways to connect classrooms to communities.

Welcome & Orientation for all First Timers to ISEEN, Noon-1:00pm, No charge

This time is designed for all first timers to ISEEN to come get to know each other, ISEEN staff and board of directors, and will provide an overview of the organization and an orientation to the Institute and week. Attendees are encouraged to stay on for the following hour for the presentation titled "Talking your Walk: Understanding the theory around experiential education practice and how to connect it in conversation with various stakeholders."

Talking your Walk; Understanding the theory of experiential education pedagogy and how to connect it in conversation with various stakeholders, 1:00-2:00pm,

This workshop is designed for any first timers to ISEEN or any folks interested in better understanding the theory of experiential education and how to express the philosophy and value to students, parents, administrators, and colleagues. Current "hot educational topics" will also be discussed as they relate to EE.

ISEEN Hotel History Tour: Connecting to Cleveland’s rich history through place-based education right in our hotel home, 3:00-4:00pm, No charge.

Take a 45 minute tour of the Historic Tudor Arms, our host hotel for the ISEEN Institute, with fellow attendees, as a great way to connect to Place Based education at our home away from home. The hotel was originally opened in 1931 as The Cleveland Club, a private Men’s athletic club for wealthy Clevelanders who were the first to begin building in “the Heights”. The Tudor-Gothic brick and limestone building was the last design by Northeast Ohio’s famous architect, Frank Mead. The Cleveland Club Building, also known as the Tudor Arms was listed on the National Register of historic places on February28, 2008.

Please contact [email protected] with any questions regarding the Institute..