The Hewitt School Parents’ Association generously supports faculty professional development by providing partial funding for summer study opportunities. These grants allow faculty to experience a wide range of educational opportunities that are directly related to their area of teaching here at Hewitt.
English Teacher Jon Sabol, Performing Arts Chair Daniel Denver, and Art and Art History teacher Stephen Rose spent part of the summer planning a cross-curricular study of Modernism in their respective ninth grade classes: English, New York Music World, New York Art World, and Studio Art I.
This year we will focus on the phenomena of Surrealism,
stream of consciousness writing, interior monologue, automatic art, the influence of dreams and chance on creative work, musique concrete, and the influence of Sigmund Freud.
The girls will be reading stories, attending concerts, going to museums, writing monologues, experimenting with artistic techniques, and researching individuals and movements. All this work will culminate in a Hewitt Cabaret experience in May featuring visual and spoken artworks. The teachers have a larger plan for developing a Modernist elective for juniors and seniors that would include the study of philosophy, relativistic physics, psychology, and more.
This summer, Fifth Grade Teacher Jenny Kirsch and Middle School History Teacher Art Viscusi developed a social justice curriculum to enhance the existing 4-6 advisory and social studies programs. The curriculum, which will help to educate middle school students in issues of diversity and identity throughout history, will act as a bridge between Speak Truth to Power in the lower school and the 7th grade social studies curriculum, which is based on Facing History and Ourselves. Inspired by John Hunter’s ‘The World Peace Game,” the ultimate objective of this program is to create a middle school community with raised understanding, awareness, empathy and respect for the diverse populations within our school, city, and larger world.
Math Teacher Elizabeth Brennan has developed a new algebra curriculum that will incorporate many expressed goals of the Strategic Plan. The curriculum will emphasize critical thinking and problem solving to promote deep conceptual learning. This type of understanding is vital in the 21st century where interpreting information is more important than rote memorization. A focus on constructing an argument and expressing their mathematical ideas orally and in writing will require students to master concepts and not procedures. The curriculum takes an integrated approach that includes problems from different disciplines, including other mathematical disciplines. This will give students an idea of how subjects are interrelated, especially in science, technology, mathematics and engineering. A more in-depth look at the history of mathematics and how mathematicians approach a problem will give the students a better perspective and framework with which to work. The course will emphasize fluency in mathematical language that will enable them to describe and interpret the world around them using mathematics.
Over the summer Math and Science Teacher Tameka Farrell worked to enhance the 10th grade chemistry curriculum in a number of important ways. Her goals were to introduce elements of inquiry and project-based learning within the framework of a foundational chemistry course; to implement greater opportunities for differentiation within the classroom so that all students are being stretched to their full potential; to explore new uses for technology in the teaching of chemistry; and to bring real-world applications and fieldwork to the teaching of chemistry.
Math Teacher Elisa Shzu and Educational Technology Team Director Erik Nauman were accepted to the highly-competitive Teacher Design Fellows Program at the New York Hall of Science this summer. During the week-long summer institute, they focused on the design process, a problem-solving model central to engineering and technology. Through the design process, they are developing a STEM project-based learning initiative that will be introduced in fifth grade.
History teacher Joseph Iannacone went across the pond this summer to Cambridge University, where he was selected to participate in a seminar on the Civil Rights Movement. This highly-competitive seminar, sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, explored the changing nature of protest from the 1940s to the 1960s and enabled Mr. Iannacone to bring the realities of the Civil Rights Movement back to his Hewitt classroom.