Tang Institute Announces 2015-2016 Fellows and Projects; Expands Faculty Support

 In Blog, Connected Learning, Innovations in Outreach, Learning in the World

The Tang Institute team is pleased to announce the 2015–2016 Tang Institute fellows and their projects. For more information about fellowships, please visit the Institute website.

We are grateful to the many community members who submitted thoughtful project proposals in response to our open call for fellowship applications in November. Selections were made with the goal of supporting as many creative ideas as possible, with attention to the Institute’s areas of focus and emerging modes, and with an eye for potential synergies among analogous efforts on campus and beyond. We are also grateful for the input of colleagues, including our Head of School, Dean of CAMD, Dean of Studies, Dean of Faculty, and Dean of Students, in addition to the Academic Council, technology and library teams, and several other insightful partners.

In addition to providing support for a variety of new and ongoing faculty-driven projects, we will also expand our offerings to include the following:

  • The launch of our Hybrid Andover Initiative (HAI) a collaboration among the Tang Institute, Summer Session, and the Director of Educational Initiatives focused on developing pilots for Summer Session courses that will couple online learning with in person classroom experiences. This work will be led by our Visiting Scholar in Connected Learning, David Rea.
  • The addition of Summer Seed Funding to the forms of support that we can offer faculty members with early-stage ideas for innovative approaches to teaching and learning.
  • The addition of Tatelbaum grants in support of new faculty-led Learning in the World initiatives. These grants are designed to support LitW scouting trips, especially those that pursue creative approaches to teaching, learning, and partnership within a global, community-based, and experiential context.

As we increase our capacity to fund community-driven ideas for novel approaches to teaching and learning, the Tang Institute relies on the enthusiasm, imagination, and partnership of our community. Thank you for your input and feedback on our new and continuing projects, our evolving proposal process, and other aspects of our work.

As always, if you have ideas and questions, please be in touch: tanginstitute@andover.edu. Please also continue to connect with us at the Lunch & Discussion Series, which feature weekly conversations led by current Tang fellows and guests. All lunches are open to faculty, staff, and students.

2015–2016 Tang Institute Fellows and Projects

The following projects align with current Institute themes: Connected Learning, Learning in the World, and Innovation in Partnerships. Many also build upon or offer opportunities for collaboration and learning with existing Institute projects or collaborative initiatives on campus and beyond.

Catalyzing Change: Reimagining Chemistry 250

Tang Fellow: Brian Faulk

Catalyzing Change: Reimagining Chemistry 250 is rooted in a desire to pivot from an approach that utilizes a traditional textbook to one that leverages online materials and blended learning approaches. This collaborative, open process will engage faculty and students in reimagining Chemistry 250 from the ground up with an eye toward designing shared learning modules—hosted on platforms such as Canvas or eBook—and a range of blended techniques for piloting and assessing in the classroom. As other faculty members and departments explore the possibility of moving away from textbooks, Brian Faulk looks forward to sharing lessons learned and good practices associated with innovative teaching and learning strategies.

Community-based Learning: Writing and Teaching to Change the World

Tang Fellows: Lou Bernieri, Monique Cueto-Potts

As a collaboration among the English Department, the Community Service Office, and Lawrence public schools and community organizations, English 501, Writing and Teaching to Change the World is a community-based learning course. Students are encouraged to discover and develop the writer within themselves and then, in turn, to serve as Andover Bread Loaf Writing Leaders. As leaders, they learn to organize their own writing programs or to assist teachers in organizing writing programs. In addition to reading texts about educational theory and practice, students will experiment during in-class workshops with many different genres of writing in a supportive, creative learning community. The course provides students with methods they can use in working with other youth in K-12 and provides them with the experience of working in classrooms in the Lawrence Public Schools. Students are invited to join the Andover Bread Loaf Network and to participate in its conferences, workshops, and events during the year. Lou Bernieri and Monique Cueto-Potts will also identify best practices associated with developing service learning opportunities throughout the Andover campus.

Creating and Sustaining a Mindful Culture

Tang Fellow: Andy Housiaux

Key Collaborators: Carol Israel, Amy Patel

This project will develop concrete ways of integrating the practice of mindfulness into daily life at Andover for the entire community: students, faculty, and staff. The overarching goal of the Empathy and Balance pillar of our 2014 Strategic Plan identifies, “mutual understanding and individual well-being as essential to a thriving community.” Mindfulness practice can play an important role in enhancing both individual health and empathy in our interactions with others. To that end, one part of the program will partner with the Empathy and Balance Strategic Plan Implementation Group to introduce existing school-based mindfulness curricula to PA students. Another part will work with faculty and staff to support their own practices of mindfulness, both at home and at work. Throughout, we will be looking for ways to bring this practice of open-minded awareness to interested members of the PA community in a variety of settings and contexts.

Expanding Our Khan Academy Collaboration: Statistics

Tang Fellows: Science & Math Instructors (TBD)

We are looking forward to building upon the successful collaboration between our math department and Khan Academy, which last year led to the creation of a comprehensive, online BC Calculus curriculum. The 3,000 problems developed by PA teachers and students are posted alongside Sal Khan’s video lessons and are regularly accessed by more than one million users per month. In the coming year, we develop an advanced statistics curriculum while continuing to experiment with different uses of our existing Khan Academy work in our teaching practices.

Learning in the World: Local Partnerships and Place-based Learning

Tang Fellow: Mark Cutler

This yearlong project will focus on the development and piloting of new Learning in the World (LitW) opportunities, with an emphasis on place-based, socially conscious themes that link communities in collaborative partnership. Working with colleagues (including current LitW program leaders), the Community Service Office, and other collaborators, Mark Cutler will design pathways and locally centered programming for younger students (e.g. 9th and 10th graders), to tap their potential as budding scholars and leaders and also to prepare them for future LitW experiences. Educators from PA, as well as teachers and students from local schools, will contribute to the discussion. The goal is to develop a network and ultimately co-create this pilot and other future, collaborative efforts.

Continuing Tang Institute Fellows & Projects

Astronomy Web Portal to Facilitate Variable Star Discoveries
Tang Fellow: Caroline E. Odden

Developing Online Hybrid Courses in Greek, collaboration with the Eight Schools Association
Tang Fellow: Joshua Mann

Developing Online Hybrid Courses in Water Resources, collaboration with the Eight Schools Association
Tang Fellow: Anna Milkowski

“I Can’t Do That…Yet”: Cultivating a Learning Disposition
Tang Fellow: Noah A. Rachlin

Strengthening Learning in the World Programming (LitW)
Tang Fellow and Global Coordinator: Carmen Muñoz-Fernández

The Tang Institute will also support the great work of the Program Leaders who will direct the summer Learning in the World offerings.

Current Fellow Jacques Hugon will become a full-time Senior Technology Partner to the Tang Institute in 2015-16. In this role, he will continue his development work on Andover Math Problems, Astro, Academy Compass, and other projects. An integral member of the Institute team, he will partner with us and our fellows on a range of Institute projects, especially those with technical dimensions. In this role, he will continue to collaborate with other colleagues, including our Information Technology department, to ensure that promising Institute projects are developed in ways that keep broader PA needs and IT infrastructure in mind.

2015 Summer Seed Funding

In addition to supporting a number of academic-year fellows and their projects, the Institute is pleased to announce 2015 Summer Seed Funding. Summer support will enable faculty to dive deeper into and further develop early stage ideas and to identify opportunities for potential scaling—in the forms of a fellowship project proposal, a more expansive pilot, or other directions.

As You Read It

David Fox

David Fox will explore and analyze a variety of online tools and collaborative projects that enable students to annotate electronic texts and share these annotations with each other. Having successfully used a platform that enabled his students to develop those skills via a line-by-line analysis of Hamlet and other original texts, David will explore analogous efforts that focus on fostering student-centered learning in an on-line environment in which the ideas of students are respected, explored, and challenged. His research may result in the piloting of one or more of such tools in his History and English courses in Fall 2015.

Envisioning an Inclusive Program for Student Placement in STEM (Primary Research) Summer Internships

Catherine Kemp

Working closely with colleagues in the science department, from Summer Session, and from other related efforts, Catherine Kemp will lead a summer research project designed to map the landscape for summer, lab-based research opportunities for PA students. She will first consult with colleagues on benefits and potential barriers for students to participate in such activities; she will also consider a variety of potential models for developing a robust array of offerings and access points. The result will be an initial set of ideas to inform future efforts and will include initial thinking about how such a program might be developed, who would need to be involved, what are potential partnerships and networks, and how the program could be sustainably maintained.

Lenses on China: Using Multimedia Tools and International Partnerships to Strengthen Learning

Lilia Cai-Hurteau

Building upon a variety of early collaborations conducted in Spring 2015, Lilia Cai-Hurteau will use summer seed funding to continue to research and develop opportunities to strengthen a budding partnership between PA students in Chinese 420 classes and students at a Chinese partner school. Utilizing a variety of multi-media, online resources, including Skype, Vimeo, VoiceThread, and OneWorld Classrooms’ Student-to-Student Language Lab, small teams of PA and Chinese students will produce and share videos through which students create “tour” experiences and teach each other their respective first languages. PA students will also work collaboratively with their Chinese partners on interdisciplinary tasks by identifying and solving real world issues. This work is intended to build meta-cultural, meta-learning, and meta-linguistic awareness, while also piloting tools and approaches that can be used by other teachers and Learning in the World program leaders.

Mapping Opportunities for Cross-Cultural STEAM Collaborations

Reem Hussein

Reem Hussein will develop a roadmap for an ambitious project centered on cross-cultural Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) collaborations for eventual consideration by the Science Division at PA. As a starting point, she will outline a multi-phased student-centered STEAM program that would include some technology, arts, and science components, in addition to a potential opportunity for partnership with external institutions. The resulting design framework would include an overview of lesson plans focused on (i) building cDNA libraries from organisms of interest to identify relevant proteins, (ii) using existing software, 3D printing, and art techniques to study protein structure, and (iii) collaborating with institutions to develop engaging online games focused on developing understanding of protein biochemistry. Advanced stages of the project could focus on developing collaborations with institutions, such as the Qatar Foundation, through sharing STEAM lesson plans and exploring their implementation in the classroom.

Performance: What’s Food Got to Do with It?

Aggie Kip
Key Collaborator: Amy Patel

Aggie Kip will continue to broaden and deepen the impact of PA Power Eating, a well received pilot program designed to teach, promote, and support informed nutrient-dense food choices as the foundation for academic and athletic excellence. With seed funding, Aggie will create an online repository and “food-first information”that can be shared with the broader community. Working closely with the wellness team, Aggie will create a web-based resource that includes curated articles, videos, recipes, guidance, and other materials. The resource will also feature the voices many community members, including students, coaches and other colleagues interested in healthy, performance-enhancing nutrition strategies.

Re-envisioning Introductory Mathematics

Sue Buckwalter, Heidi Wall

Building upon the math department’s successful integration of PA-developed online calculus materials into our existing calculus courses, Sue Buckwalter and Heidi Wall will lead a similar initiative to revamp and re-envision the entire introductory Andover mathematics sequence during the coming year. Summer seed funding will support the kick off of this effort, which will focus on developing a curriculum that can respond to the varying experiences that students bring to many key geometry, coding, and algebra concepts. Their summer research and experimentation will also result in a roadmap to guide further development during 2015-16.

The Tang Institute also provides summer funding for Math Department faculty members, led by Bill Scott, who will focus on the continued development of PA’s online calculus materials and Math Placement Exam platform (Academy Compass).

Visiting Scholar in Connected Learning

During the past year, the Institute has launched a number of activities focused on exploring key aspects of blended learning and online teaching. Building upon lessons learned from these efforts, and as a means of exploring different modes of learning and teaching and expanding the number of students that PA can serve directly, the Institute team is collaborating closely with the Director of Summer Session and the Director of Educational Initiatives to develop pilots for one or two hybrid courses during the next 18 months. We recently welcomed David Rea, an experienced programmer-educator-entrepreneur, to lead this initiative as the Visiting Scholar in Connected Learning.

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