The experiences at Opal School have made me a better person… The changes in my practice have made me more open as a colleague, and able to take criticism with a passion to grow and improve, instead of a defensive shoulder shrug. Certain students were able to spark new ideas with the use of materials, and others were able to extend existing ideas in new and fantastic ways… Because I work for the public school system, I needed to have data to back up my teaching practices. When comparing this year to last, my students have gained strength in math skills, phonics skills, and language skills… I also have observed that my students enjoy school so much this year; multiple students refused to leave on the last day because they felt so safe at school, and enjoyed their challenging experience in such an impactful way.
Cece DeanTeacher, Hillsboro School District
At each of the following offerings, Opal School teacher-researchers and invited guests will reflect with you on ongoing practice-based research with the intention of improving practice, advancing teacher professionalism, and transforming ideas about what is possible when working with children.
Constructing Collaborative and Courageous Learning Communities
October 26-28, 2017
Playful Inquiry depends on collaboration and courage. Join Opal School teachers in considering how powerful learning communities are constructed throughout the school year – starting in its very first days.
Opal School Visitation Days 2018: Investigating the conditions that support playful inquiry
Choose from two sessions!
January 31-February 2 or February 28-March 2
Designed to immerse participants in Opal School practice, this multi-day workshop supports educators’ examination and application of approaches to playful inquiry through negotiated curriculum. Visit Opal School classrooms in session to observe, analyze, and reflect on inquiry-based learning through the tools of the arts and sciences. Talk with teachers about the joys and challenges of a practice that holds a strong image of children as thinkers, planners, and contributors to the community.
Reading the World: Finding intersections between literacy, creativity and sustainability
April 11-13, 2018
What conditions do human beings need to thrive? What is the role of schooling in creating these conditions? How are literacy, creativity, and sustainability related and interrelated? How do we support children to connect their reading of the world to the things we do in school?
How is creativity necessary for sustainability of our democracy and our planet?
How do we best support the transition between reading the world and reading the word in a way that doesn’t limit creativity?
Summer Symposium 2018
June 20-22, 2018
Every summer, hundreds of educators committed to recognizing, celebrating, and extending the creative and cognitive capacities of children join Opal School teacher-researchers for three full days of renewal through synthesis, dialogue, materials exploration, and reflection.