Late last month, eight educators from the Model Schools Project in Hong Kong visited Columbus to learn more about formative instructional practices (FIP) as they roll out FIP in their respective schools in Hong Kong.
I was so excited to work with Joyce Wong from Battelle for Kids (Hong Kong) to plan our guests’ training and school visitation schedule, as well as to organize the “after hours” entertainment for the group. Central Ohio retired teachers Tim Dove and Holly Crowson joined our learning team as we visited Beechwood Elementary School in Whitehall, Evening Street Elementary School and Phoenix Middle School in Worthington, Hyatts Middle School in Powell, and Olentangy High School in Lewis Center. The purpose of the school visits was to witness ‘FIP practices in action.’ We witnessed teachers sharing learning targets with students, collecting and documenting evidence of student learning, analyzing evidence to provide effective feedback, and encouraging students to take ownership of their learning.
Another highlight of the week was attending the Rural Education Forum on Thursday, Oct. 31, at the Columbus Convention Center where the Hong Kong educators heard keynote addresses from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; 2013 National Teacher of the Year Jeff Charbonneau; Superintendent of Ohio’s Public Instruction Dr. Richard Ross; and Battelle for Kids’ Executive Director, Dr. Jim Mahoney. What an opportunity to gain perspective about American policy! Our visitors were as impressed as I was to listen to such inspiring leaders across the country address collaboration, innovation, and economic opportunities and challenges.
Here are just a few ‘exit slip’ quotes on what our guests saw and heard.
“The ideas of FIP are good. Both teachers & students can mutually get benefits from it.”
“A fruitful and wonderful learning trip! Just feel so blessed to what I experienced here with caring host, beautiful scenery, amazing schools and people here in Columbus.”
“This experience was amazing. It reinforced my understanding of FIP.”
The very idea that formative instructional practices are universally accepted as good instruction and that teachers thousands of miles away struggle with many of the same issues that we do here reminds me that Tom Friedman, the best-selling author was right—the world has gotten flat. Our shared passion about and our commitment to student learning goes beyond oceans, politics and culture!
Learn more about the FIP in Action Modules here.
About the Author:
Barb Cockroft works in the Powerful Practices Portfolio at Battelle for Kids as a school improvement specialist. She conducts professional development trainings in Ohio, TX, TN, OK, GA and Hong Kong to help educators at all levels learn best practices to effectively use formative instructional practices and other research-based strategies and tools for school improvement. Barb has more than thirty-five years of classroom experience as a 7th and 8th grade language arts teacher, holds a professional teaching license in the state of Ohio, is a National Board Certified Teacher, and has earned a K-12 Gifted Education Endorsement.