Opal School closed in 2021. You can continue to access these resources for free at teachingpreschoolpartners.org/resource-library/.

Constructing Collaborative And Courageous Learning Communities

Constructing Collaborative And Courageous Learning Communities

Thursday, October 25: 6:30pm-8:30pm

Friday, October 26: 8:30am-4:00pm

Saturday, October 27: 8:30am-12:00pm

Playful Inquiry is an approach to learning alive in a community that courageously and collaboratively relies on the unique gifts of childhood to question what it means to be a citizen world-maker in the midst of uncertainty.

Playful Inquiry depends on collaboration and courage. This multi-day workshop, intentionally offered early in the school year when groups are first coming together, investigates decisions teachers make every day to work with children to construct the learning communities our students – and the world – need.

This workshop invites participants into a study of Opal School children (age three through grade five) and teachers at work. Consider how approaches that view children’s social-emotional, intellectual, creative, and academic qualities as strongly interlinked support growth. Because we know that it’s hard for participants to leave their classrooms so early in the year, this professional development retreat is shorter than our other school-year offerings and runs into Saturday morning.

Curious about the flow of the event? Take a look at 2017’s agenda.

Last year’s participants had lots to say about their experience. Here are just a few of their voices:

It worked really well to hear short, powerful stories and then be able to tie that together with our own work in groups. The short length of the presentations paired with the long stretches of actual collaborative, courageous community work helped me dig so deep into the meaning and purpose. This was so much more effective than hearing strings of long presentations loosely held together by a theme I don’t feel connected to: you guys made me CARE about courageous, collaborative communities.

The tangibility of the experiences and stories that I walk away with is so important. My own feelings and reflections on the invention challenge paired with the Opal classroom learning stories really brought Brené Brown’s words to life.

There is a distinct lack of presumption in this workshop – a lack of ‘Look at us! We’re doing it right! Do it like we do!’ Instead, your openness with sharing your own discomforts and challenges and questions does well to both demonstrate and validate your approach.

Walking through the elementary classrooms and seeing the students leading the conversations by responding, adding, disagreeing, and asking probing/clarifying questions was amazing. Then, observing three-year-olds resolve a problem using inquiry was even more incredible to see. Seeing this in action, my thoughts are now outside the box wondering how I can build such strong communities, collaboration, and courage amongst my students.

For the first time, I understand that’s what vulnerability in teaching means.

Participants are eligible to receive university credit upon completion of coursework and payment of an additional fee to Western Oregon University.

May 26, 2017