WATERVILLE — More than 100 Pre-K-12 educators and administrators from 25 different schools in Maine recently participated in a three-day summer institute held by Thomas College’s Center for Innovation in Education. They were joined by 13 coaches, six Thomas faculty members, three keynotes as well as several community guests, according to a Thomas College news release.

“We were thrilled with the deep thinking and learning that took place during the summer institute,” said assistant professor of education Kate Cook Whitt, according to the release. “Teachers engaged in important dialogue and planning activities to help make student learning more rigorous and relevant. Maine is lucky to have a community of teachers who are committed to providing innovative learning experiences to students and to continually improving practice. The summer institute truly embodies our mission at the CIE — to experience the art and science of teaching through creative innovation.”

The educators participated in many interactive sessions, including how to debunk fake news, working with electric cars and blocks for STEAM learning, incorporating music and art into the classroom, and using cardboard moose to teach geometry. The institute also brought in nationally renowned keynote speakers, Brooke Haycock and Tim McNamara, to help inspire and engage with Maine educators and administrators.

“The CIE summer institute is a place where teachers and administrators come to begin and continue an open dialogue about what is best for their students,” said assistant professor of education Katie Rybakova, according to the release. “This year at the institute we saw teams of teachers engaged not only in planning interdisciplinary units of instruction but also thinking through a shift in their entire school’s educational paradigm. We are excited to continue to bring in rock star keynotes and coaches next year and want to continue to develop a culture at this institute that treats teachers like the professionals they are.”

About the Center for Innovation in Education: Thomas College’s Center for Innovation in Education is re-envisioning teacher education that supports digital learning, STEAM, and Proficiency Based Learning in an adaptive environment that reflects a contemporary instructional approach.

In the fall of 2015, Thomas College finished construction of the Center for Innovation in Education, a state-of-the-art classroom and co-working space designed to give students the ideal environment to learn and practice the skills required of tomorrow’s educators.

Backed by an investment from The Lunder Foundation, the Center for Innovation in Education will add programs, technology, and training methods, with the specific goal of preparing teachers for technology-rich approaches. Learn more at www.thomas.edu/cie.

About Thomas College: Founded in 1894, Thomas College offers Master’s, Baccalaureate and Associate degrees in programs ranging from criminal justice and psychology to teacher education, business and technology. Thomas offers a guaranteed job program built on a student’s academic, leadership and career preparation, and is the home of the Center for Innovation in Education and the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation. As reported in the New York Times, Thomas ranks within the top 10 percent of the country’s colleges and universities for upward mobility of its graduates. For more information, visit www.thomas.edu or contact MacKenzie Riley at [email protected] or 859-1313.