District Administration May 2018 - 55

SPONSORED WEB SEMINAR DIGEST

CINDY MOSS
Director of Global STEM Initiatives
Discovery Education

RYAN JACKSON
Executive Principal
Mt. Pleasant Arts Innovation Zone
Maury County (Tenn.) Public Schools

In Discovery, we're focusing on something we call
"STEM dispositions." When you look at kids who are
in high school, we can't know what their jobs will be
like, and the kids who are currently in kindergarten,
by the time they're 90 it will be the 22nd century. So
we're focusing on these STEM dispositions that we
know we want all of our students to have, regardless
of whether they're going into the sciences or the arts:
they need persistence, they need to be lifelong learners, they need to be problem-solvers and they need
to be communicators.
To help that happen, we've created the STEM ecosystem, and we have very engaging resources that
are digital, high-quality and aligned with your district's standards. We have professional development
and coaching in the classroom for teachers, in the
building for administrators and for the community.
It's all about empowered leadership-about growing
teachers and principals to be able to take the risk and
to move forward in STEM.

"We want students thinking like creators,
not merely consumers, of content. I'm a
firm believer that art breathes life into
the soul of a school."

Ryan Jackson: Our vision is "courage to create," because we want students thinking like creators, not
merely consumers, of content. I'm a firm believer that
art breathes life into the soul of a school. We want
well-rounded students. But I also believe that when
you start creating high-profile projects, the PBLs, it
allows for a plethora of avenues and opportunities
for students to become a part of them.
I want you to think about second-order change. We
are on this threshold of education right now, literally.
I want a complete break from the past. That doesn't
all happen at once, but the reality is that you have to
start thinking and doing things differently.

On top of that, it's training, training, training. Autonomy without training ultimately builds contempt.
I think like an entrepreneur-I can go out, cast this
strong vision, interface with business partners, get
the community excited, but I want to ensure that I
get myself trained, that I get my staff trained. That's
where Discovery has been huge for us. They have literally been the battery in our backs through our PBL
Champion model and then through the mentor who
pushes us a couple of times per month. So please,
please, please: emphasize training.
Some other keys to success: You have to have your
finger on the pulse of your organization. You have to
be just as involved in the PBLs. You have to be able to
speak STEM and STEAM fluently-selling the community, selling your teachers, getting your students
excited. Be a leader, not a figurehead.
You have to connect with other STEM/STEAM
leaders and advocates, sharing ideas, Skyping classto-class across state lines and getting kids to see that
there's a bigger world out there. Also, you want to
empower teachers. Each semester we have a new
cohort of 13 different teachers. We're in the second
year of this movement right now; by our third we will
be wall-to-wall with STEAM-certified teachers, where
there's not a classroom you can walk in and not see
incredible STEAM experiential learning happening.

To watch this web seminar in its entirety, please visit: www.districtadministration.com/ws030118

www.DistrictAdministration.com

May 2018 55


http://www.districtadministration.com/ws030118 http://www.DistrictAdministration.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration May 2018

District Administration May 2018 - Cover1
District Administration May 2018 - Cover2
District Administration May 2018 - 1
District Administration May 2018 - 2
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District Administration May 2018 - Cover3
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