At the heart of our work is embedded and sustained professional development customized to the unique goals, strengths and challenges of our partner schools. Our professional development coordinators design and lead intensive summer in-service weeks and customized strands at the Middle Grades Institute to launch initiatives at our partner schools. We facilitate faculty meetings, in-service days and consult during team common planning time throughout the school year to help teachers develop technology-rich skills, curriculum, and pedagogy in collaboration with their colleagues. We also offer a graduate course.
Leadership and Planning
Each of our partner schools establishes a teacher-led leadership team to help us craft a comprehensive professional development strategy that meets the demands of meaningful school change and addresses the needs of the faculty. In collaboration with these teams, we help schools and districts confront obstacles to change and develop systems that foster ongoing teacher learning. This is our first step toward creating a school leadership culture capable of sustaining ongoing and strategic innovation.
Too often, classroom innovation is stifled by tight school budgets. We offer modest Innovation Grants so our partner teachers can purchase the technology they need to try creative approaches to tech-rich learning. We help grant recipients evaluate their innovation and share their results on-line and at professional conferences.
Tarrant Institute researchers have developed a multifaceted program to examine technology integration in Vermont’s schools. We study the effects of 1:1 on student engagement, how teachers’ use of online tools to personalize learning, and how students respond to technology-rich embodied learning. We also recently launched the Tarrant Institute Longitudinal Technology Study, the largest study of its kind in Vermont, to study the impact of professional development services on technology-rich teaching.
Publications and Presentations
Tarrant Institute staff regularly publish about our research and other work in academic journals and education magazines. We present to statewide, regional and national audiences. We also collaborate with our partner teachers to publish and present their work to colleagues around Vermont and beyond.
Online tools and resources
In addition to this website, the Tarrant Institute maintains an active blog reflecting the work of its staff and partner teachers. We host an online tools and resource library, distribute a monthly e-newsletter and constantly update our twitter feeds with emerging ideas and opportunities.