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Southern Maine Partnership Conference

May 23, 2016

Great learning opportunity

Participants at the Southern Maine Partnership conference

Participants at the Southern Maine Partnership conference

It was so wonderful to attend and present with Rob Westerberg at the Southern Maine Partnership conference, Assessment for Learning and Leading: Impacting and Empowering Student Learning at USM in Portland last week. Our workshop was called Collaborative and Teacher-Led Improvement Communities. It was a bit of history of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) and a good reminder for us to see where the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) started in 2010 and notice where MALI is at this point in time. The best part was to share several of the MALI Teacher Leader journeys. The bottom line is that these teachers are doing amazing work and sharing it all across the state and some outside of Maine. Their journeys are documented using a variety of medium to make the learning for others easy accessible. Documents and videos make up the plethora of resources found at http://www.maineartsassessment.com/. Just added to the site is the google presentation that we used at the Southern Maine Partnership conference.

The conference was attended by over 300 Maine educators – teachers, administrators, and other school personnel. One of the highlights of the conference was to hear Jan Chappius who gave the keynote to open the conference. Jan is the author of Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning and co-author of An Introduction to Student-Involved Assessment FOR Learning and a couple of other books. Jan reminded me that students who are empowered to direct their learning have certain characteristics. They are motivated to learn independently of external rewards and punishments. They know how to assess their own learning needs and they seek out and use resources to assist their learning when needed. Students exhibit a willingness to try, a persistence in the face of difficulty, and a belief that effort will pay off in eventual success. Making the work relevant and authentic can help guide the student empowerment piece.

If you could not attend I highly recommend taking a look at Jan’s research. I am anxious to get back at reading her work myself. There were several other outstanding sessions as well. A great big thank you to Doctors Jeff Beaudry and Anita Stewart McCafferty, who serve as co-chair of the Southern Maine Partnership, and planned an outstanding conference!

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