The Summer Institute is one of NNER’s annual experiences that support educators and community leaders, and it will take place July 27-31, 2020. The Summer Institute combines the here-and-now of school-university partnership work and the larger framework and long-range/historical perspective of the National Network for Educational Renewal. The Institute furthers the network of professional connections and friendships across NNER with the intention of deepening our partnership among each other as well as our local settings.
The Summer Institute is even more timely as we consider and discuss our sense of urgency, how we re-open schools, how school-university partnerships are navigating distance education, and the inequitable digital divide across the country. The Institute also offers an opportunity to continue to reimagine ourselves–as an organization and member settings.
We will offer this year’s Summer Institute in a virtual format, and for the first time, we will offer two versions:
- Newcomer/Renew: This Institute is designed for participants that are new to the concepts, principles of school-university partnerships, and history of NNER. This Institute is also open to all NNER member settings as well as universities, school districts, and community organizations that are not designated NNER member settings.
- Deepen/Practitioner: This Institute is designed for participants who are more familiar with NNER concepts, principles, and history of NNER and are looking to engage intentionally around decision-making, action, and evaluation processes related to advancing the Agenda for Education in a Democracy. This Institute is exclusive to NNER membership settings.
The 2020 NNER Virtual Summer Institute is organized around the theme and question, Preparing Beyond the Distress of COVID: How Do We Prepare Ourselves for Innovation? We will offer the following topics as part of both Institute strands:
From Small Scale and Whole System – What Makes NNER Distinct
For over 30 years, the National Network for Educational Renewal has promoted a compelling agenda, known as the Agenda for Education in a Democracy (AED), to ensure quality education for all and insist on educational renewal to ensure the vital role of education in a democracy. The NNER Summer Institute is an opportunity to even further clarify, renew and reimagine the AED and NNER’s four-part mission:
Foster the skills, disposition, and knowledge necessary for effective participation of our nation’s youth in a political democracy;
Ensure that our youth have access to those understandings and skills required for satisfying and responsible lives;
Develop educators who nurture the learning and well-being of every student; and
Ensure educators’ competence in and commitment to serving as stewards of schools.
The Agenda for Education in a Democracy reveals the shapes and patterns that are fundamental to NNER. Considering our diverse 13 member settings, we will share how these shapes and patterns look roughly the same at any scale – from rural examples of school-university-community partnerships and in our most densely cosmopolitan partnership spaces. In our new remote reality, we will imagine and conceive how we use NNER principles to navigate virtual learning and teaching. Additionally, we will share and discuss how we use these similar principles at a national, organizational scale.
We know it is not enough to believe in the AED, we have to see our beliefs in practice as well.
The Radical Imagination
Leveraging over three decades of research and theory produced through the work of NNER and its member settings, we look for new opportunities to collectively expand possibilities for imagination, particularly given the new necessity of remote learning. While we continue to honor the ancestral imagination of NNER, we also must ask:
How are we using NNER texts and going beyond to engage in deep inquiry, raise critical questions, maintain our integrity as moral and ethical leaders, and challenge and disrupt the status quo so that all children have the education they deserve?
What is the point of impact between NNER’s work and others?
What is the point of impact between NNER’s work and your own?
“Social imagination is the capacity to invent visions of what should be and what might be in our deficit society, in the streets where we live and our schools. Social imagination not only suggests but also requires that one take action to repair or renew.” -Maxine Greene
“…a radical imaginary challenges us to think about the world as it is while committing to a process that systemically changes it.” -David Stovall
“Radical simply means ‘grasping things at the root’.” -Angela Davis
Teacher Academies: A Demonstration Site for School-University Partnerships
Teacher Academies, programs that offer high school students experience in the classroom in hopes of identifying, inspiring/recruiting, and preparing them before they move on to post-secondary degree programs, are becoming more and more common across the nation. These programs intend to fuel local teacher pathways as well as answer our national teacher shortage as less college students pursue a degree in education. How are we engaged as a Network working in these spaces? How do we use NNER’s moral dimensions to give additional depth and, more importantly, a critical perspective in the teaching profession? How do we ensure social foundations in education are also foundations to early entry points in the teaching profession?
Teacher academies include a deeper examination in the role career technical centers and community colleges in school-university partnerships. The NNER Summer Institute welcomes these additional institutions to enrich and further these conversations.
The Fields That Imagine: The Role of the Arts and Humanities in K-12 and Teacher Education
The dimension of arts in our lives is even more pronounced during this time of extreme isolation. Music, books, poetry, movies, artwork, and so on have propelled us through our time of suffering, giving insight to our past and helping us to envision our future. The Arts and Humanities are fundamental to our human experience and contribute to our social cohesion.
The National Network for Educational Renewal is distinct in its belief that colleges of education, colleges of arts and sciences, and K-12 schools all share the responsibility to bring about change in education. NNER refers to this as our Tripartite Structure, and in this deep collaboration, we foster the imagination and creativity that are crucial to a thriving democracy and support educators in developing a nurturing pedagogy that all students deserve. How do we ensure the role of arts and sciences remains part of the teacher preparation process and the experiences in K-12 schools? Alternatively, how do we more intentionally situate the role of arts and sciences in colleges of education and K-12 schools?
To register, please visit this website. If you have any questions, please contact Catherine Wolfe Bornhorst, firstname.lastname@example.org.