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!


Maker-Centered Learning Conference Registration is Open!

How can maker-centered practices engage and deepen learning across the span of preschool to high school?

How do making and systems thinking contribute to learners’ developing a critical stance on the world around them?

How can we assist learners in developing agency to act upon their world in positive ways?

These questions and more will be addressed at the virtual “Making Change through Maker-Centered Learning” conference, to be held Saturday-Sunday, May 15-16, on Zoom. 

Learn more about the conference and register at this link


Featuring Project Zero researchers Edward Clapp and Sarah Sheya, the conference will explore two home-grown projects that are ongoing in the DC area, Making Across the Curriculum and JusticexDesign. These projects, part of the larger Agency by Design initiative at Project Zero, have included teachers from local schools, including traditional public, public charter, independent and parochial. 

Clapp and Sheya will headline plenary session talks each morning of the conference. Workshops and other sessions will be led by teachers who have participated in each of the projects.

On Friday, May 14, from 4:30-5:30pm, a virtual exhibition of student and teacher learning from the two projects will be held on Zoom, open to the general public as part of the Remake Learning Days-DMV Festival


DCPZ Workshop Re-Cap with Planet Word Museum

It’s always exciting when we get to have a workshop with a museum that’s new to our usual rotations, but it’s even more exciting when that museum is brand new to just about everyone! Planet Word Museum opened its doors for the first time in October 2020 (after postponing an initial plan to open in May 2020, but we all know what happened to everyone’s spring 2020 plans). It is currently closed to in-person visitors, but fortunately for us it is open to virtual student and teacher programming.

Which brings us to last Wednesday, when about 20 DCPZers gathered on Zoom to learn with Caitlin Miller, Planet Word Museum’s Manager of Education Programs. Miller, who has led several WISSIT museum courses during her tenure at the National Building Museum, demonstrated to us the power of the word “help” by showing us a video testimonial from a man who uses a wheelchair. His vividly descriptive story–of how a rainy day and a detached wheel caused him to warm up to the word he used to hate–provoked all kinds of thoughts, feelings, and ideas for us. We used the Thinking Routine “Step-In, Step-Out, Step-Back” to analyze the story from different perspectives and to try to understand it on a deeper level. 

In the end, there were many creative ideas for how each of us could bring a story like this one, and the perspective-taking Thinking Routine, into our teaching practice. Notably, one teacher told us she plans to use this particular story about the word “help” with her students as a way to encourage them to feel more comfortable asking for help for themselves–something she has noticed her students struggling with, particularly during the pandemic.

Thank you, Caitlin, for facilitating such a thoughtful and generative experience!

You can check out the rest of our spring DCPZ workshop series on our website 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!

“Like” us on Facebook!
Follow us on Twitter! 
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!