“ When teachers are growing, so are their students.”
To ensure that our Branksome Hall Asia students are provided with the best educational experience possible, all faculty members are provided with the support needed to ensure that they are able to;
- Confidently and competently teach the IB curriculum
- Bring knowledge of techniques and skills educational best practices to develop students programs and advance the goals of the school
Please take a look at the links below to see some of the professional development seminars that have taken place at Branksome Hall Asia.
Every classroom and school communicates to students a story of what learning actually is -- what it feels like, what it looks like, and how it works to develop lasting understanding. All too often though, with mandates and pressures dominating the attention of many teachers and school leaders, schools often become settings of “just getting through the work” and fail to provide a rich story of learning for students. Sadly, classrooms become places of work-compliance rather than places where students become better thinkers and learners to serve them well beyond their years in school.
For a number of years, the Harvard University Project Zero Making Thinking Visible team have questioned: Just how can classrooms and schools become rich cultures of thinking for learners, both students and teachers, and what difference does it make for their learning?
This question of creating a culture of thinking is not an easy one to answer. Thinking, by its very nature, is invisible – it happens inside one’s mind. The idea of making thinking visible then helps make explicit what a thoughtful classroom culture might look like through the use of routines, paying attention to language, creating opportunities for thinking, etc. In schools where teachers are striving to shift towards a more thoughtfully engaged culture, educators ask of themselves: What kinds of thinking are students making use of in order to deepen understanding? Are there opportunities for my students to develop and explain their theories with one another? What kind of creative solutions do my students construct? How do I invite students to debate the complexities of a plan or issue?
When teachers focus on questions such as these about the learning environments they create, students are more likely to show commitment to their learning, find more meaningful connections between school and outside life and display the attitudes we most want to see in our learners– open-mindedness, curiosity, appropriate skepticism, and a thirst for wanting to understand.
This seminar is designed to bring educators of all levels into this Making Thinking Visible conversation. Those participating will have opportunities for collaboration and reflection with other colleagues striving to enact powerful stories of learning in their own classrooms and school. Participants will consider concrete strategies, tools, and pictures of practice to broaden their own vision of what a new story of learning might be and how it might be achieved through creating a culture of thinking.
Mark Church works with educators throughout the world striving to create cultures of thinking in their classrooms and schools. Mark challenges teachers to foster thinking dispositions in students in service of deep understanding, invites teachers to develop and use a language of thinking that communicates value for student sense-making, and encourages teachers to make their classroom environment rich with the documents of thinking processes.
Mark is currently a consultant with Harvard Project Zero’s Making Thinking Visible and Cultures of Thinking initiatives worldwide, drawing upon his own classroom teaching experience and from the perspectives he has gained working with educators throughout North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe. Mark enjoys helping teachers examine opportunities for student thoughtfulness, use thinking routines as supports and scaffolds, interact with students in ways that demonstrate interest in and respect for students’ thinking, and send clear expectations about the importance and value of thinking in learning. Together with Ron Ritchhart and Karin Morrison, Mark is co-author of the book Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners (Jossey-Bass, 2011).
Branksome Hall Asia was most fortunate to have Margaret lead workshops during Faculty Induction Week this year. The faculty benefited from her understanding of how to change behavior into positive interactions between students, teachers and parents. A group of teachers across both Junior, Middle and Senior school spent a further one and half days being trained as Restorative Practice facilitators. Margaret also hosted a parent session on ‘Conversations at home’, which was well received by those who attended.
The school is in the early stages of implementation of Restorative Practices. These practices embrace the philosophy of maintaining quality relationships at its core. To restore relationships with the intention of resolving issues through a no blame approach. We encourage open, honest and respectful interrelationships within the community to support the achievement of the student and the wellbeing of all parties.
Margaret Thorsborne is a restorative justice consultant with a background in education and counseling. She was a pioneer of and played an important role in the introduction of Restorative Practice into schools in Australia and New Zealand in the mid-late 90’s and has since trained conference facilitators in education, police and justice sectors across Australia, New Zealand, Britain, USA and Canada. She remains involved in this important reform in schools. She is currently consultant to various state and national government bodies and agencies in Australia, New Zealand, USA and the United Kingdom and has an office in London.
Margaret has continued to widen the use of restorative measures by applying the principles and philosophy of conferencing and restorative justice in workplaces in private and public sectors to rebuild relationships in the wake of a wide range of difficulties, including workplace bullying and high level conflict.
She is Vice Chair of Restorative Practice International, an associate member of Restorative Justice Aotearoa, member of Victorian Association of Restorative Justice, Silvan Tomkins Institute in Philadelphia, and her company is a registered trainer with the Restorative Justice Council in the United Kingdom.