Latest News from the Collaborative

By: Abby Krolik

Read from our latest newsletter about everything PDC has been up to!

 About twice a month, the Professional Development Collaborative sends out a newsletter to its 2000+ subscribers to let them know about the projects we are working on; the relevant meetings or conferences at which we are presenting or that we are attending; and, of course, descriptions and reminders for all of the wonderful DC-PZ events that are coming up soon. This includes information about WISSIT–our annual summer  institute for educators. In addition to being emailed to all of our subscribers, each newsletter will also be posted here, on our website. If you would like access to previous newsletters, you can click on the link to our Mailchimp archive. While you’re there, you can also sign up for our mailing list!


Children Are Citizens Honored as Innovative Educational Program

In early October, an international organization recognized the PD Collaborative’s Children Are Citizens (CAC) project as a leading innovation in PreK-12 education in the U.S.

HundrED, which bestowed the honor, is a global non-profit based in Finland. It works to build partnerships with like-minded organizations across the world, aiming to improve primary and secondary education by spotlighting highly impactful and scalable programs. 


CAC is included in a HundrED report called Learning Forerunners Across America, which highlights 16 regional educational innovations in the U.S., all of which are part of the Remake Learning network, based in Pittsburgh. The announcement was made on October 13 during the online launch of the Remake Learning Days Across America Festival. The PD Collaborative and the KID Museum in Bethesda are co-leads for the Remake Learning Days Festival-DMV, which will take place from May 8-22, 2021.


Under the guidance and inspiration of Project Zero researchers Mara Krechevsky and Ben Mardell, CAC was begun in 2014 in DC as an early childhood initiative focused on fostering civic agency in our youngest learners. Since that time, the project has reached 100+ classrooms and 1000+ students in over a dozen schools, most of which have Title I status.

The project has also inspired an annual CAC conference, which had to be cancelled this fall owing to the COVID-19 crisis. We hope to revive the conference next fall. 

Now more than ever, museums and art have the power to support our students’ processes of inquiry and critical thinking as they navigate distance or hybrid learning. Educators at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) demonstrated to about 30 educators (on Zoom) last week how to use artworks and Project Zero Thinking Routines to help students forge connections to a variety of topics and disciplines. 

Participants chose ahead of time one of three themed breakout rooms to enter–”Arts & Advocacy” (art that connects with people for the purpose of inspiring social change); “Make A Wish” (art that considers the development of people, plants, and animals); and “Powerful Beyond Measure” (investigating portraits across time). In each breakout room, facilitated by a NMWA educator, participants took their time observing and discussing two artworks. The conversations were scaffolded with the use of two Thinking Routines: Connect-Extend-Challenge (click here to see it in Spanish), and a new twist on a classic, See-Think-Me-We. The first routine provides an effective means for assessing students’ current knowledge of and perspectives on a topic, while encouraging them to go a step further by naming questions or challenges to their original thinking. The second routine starts with close observation and questioning, and then brings the conversation to a personal realm by asking participants/students to connect what they see to themselves and to their community.

As always, DCPZ participants appreciated the opportunity to engage slowly with artworks and with other educators. At the end of the workshop, we all came together to discuss ideas for how to bring the Thinking Routines into our practice to elevate thinking and to help make classroom topics resonate with students.

Our next DCPZ Workshop will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 4:00pm EST with educators from the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum! You can sign up for that event HERE.


Anti-Racism Resources for Educators:

Did you miss our June 2020 response to the protests and uprisings around the country in response to police brutality and killings? You can find it again on our website as a blogpost here.

Included in the list of resources is a useful webpage put together by our own DCPZ’er Kerri Redding. Kerri developed this page for Upper School students at Washington International School and asked her permission to share it widely. You can check it out on the list or here.


Follow The Collaborative on Social Media

The Collaborative is now on social media in a BIG way!

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We’ll post news, events, and photos on both platforms. Share us with all your educator friends!


To see all of our upcoming events, click here!