With the end of spring break comes the craziness of exam preparation and the final push through the academic year. It’s also a time to reflect on what pedagogical strategies have worked well for us and on which areas of our instruction can be improved. The summer provides a must needed rest for educators, but also a time to grow and develop new techniques to enhance the use of our pedagogical content knowledge. Now is the time to carve out a piece of your summer to allow these professional development goals to become a reality.
If you have never attended an official Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) training, you may consider doing so this summer. Many educators mention they have used POGIL activities in the Flinn books. The POGIL pedagogy is not simply students completing worksheets. It requires training to implement it in order to achieve the desired effects of developing students process skills along with providing the opportunity for students to self discover content through collaborative roles.
POGIL offers a series of workshops in various areas of the country for teachers at both the secondary and collegiate level. While some educators may be comfortable utilizing the roles and facilitating in their classrooms, there are three POGIL tracks available at each regional conference to provide differentiation to meet your needs. There are three tracks available so if you are confident in facilitating maybe you would be interested in learning how to write a POGIL activity utilizing a proper scaffold through the writing track or better provide self discovery through inquiry experiments though participation in the laboratory track.
Even after utilizing POGIL activities for years with my students, attending a POGIL regional conference last summer helped me to gain new insights and ideas for more effectively writing new activities and facilitating lessons. In the writing track, an author coach sat with me and provided feedback on how to improve an activity I had recently written. I appreciated the chance to have a new set of eyes provide the constructive criticism necessary to better support student learning.
If you live in the Northeast region of the United States, consider attending the conference in Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY from July 10th through 12th. In the Northwest, the regional conference will be held in the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington from July 10th - 12th. In the north central region, the University of Chicago will host the conference will be from July 16th to 18th. In the south central region, the University of Texas at Dallas will be held in Richardson Texas from July 17th to 19th. Two quarter graduate credits are available for attending the conference through Seattle Pacific University for a fee of $110. The fee for the three day workshop is $425 and includes registration, materials, lunch of three days and two dinners. If interested in on-campus housing which includes breakfast for two mornings, an additional $175 is required.
If you cannot make it to a POGIL regional workshop, various sessions are being offered at BCCE as well to provide you with a flavor for what POGIL is all about. If you have any questions or would like to see a preview of the workshops agenda please visit the POGIL website.