Consulting Work

The Concord River Institute can work with any institution seeking to improve teaching and learning.  See below for examples on the kind of work that we do.

Teacher Development:

The Concord River Institute has conducted teachers training workshops with educators from a variety of schools who serve a wide diversity of students.  What makes training with the Concord River Institute unique is that educators don’t just sit and listen to us talk about developing engaging curriculum and collaborative classroom cultures, they actually get a chance to give it a try.  By giving teachers real tasks and putting them in conversation with actual students we help teachers to envision how abstract ideas can be put into practice in their classrooms.  Click here to see an agenda from a teacher-training day held at the DeCordova museum in Lincoln, MA.  Click here to learn more about the upcoming teacher development Summer Institute set to launch in July of 2015.

Program Implementation:

The Concord River Institute has been approached by teachers and administrators from a number of schools that are interested in developing their own version of the Rivers and Revolutions program.  For example, Jamie Chisum, the forward thinking principal of Wellesley High School in Wellesley, MA., attended one of in Institute’s teachers development workshops and liked it so much he decided to start developing a year long interdisciplinary and experiential program for his school.  He hired the Concord River Institute to help develop and implement the program.  To date we have assisted in the visioning process, faculty hiring and development, student recruitment, parental outreach and public relations.  We will continue to offer support and outcome data collection assistance as the program, titled “Evolutions” starts in the fall of 2015.  You can read about Wellesley’s “Evolutions” program here.

“Working with Michael Goodwin and the whole Concord River Institute team has been both an inspiration and a lifeline….All of their support was invaluable to our launching of the Wellesley High School Evolutions program in the fall of 2015.   The students that work with CRI taught us just how powerful and meaningful this type of learning can be for them. That’s all I needed to hear to become wildly enthusiastic about bringing a program like it to my school.”  -Jamie Chisum, Principal of Wellesley High School

Museum Curriculum:

The Museum of World War II, located just outside of Boston, houses an astounding collection of artifacts and was looking to upgrade their educational offerings.  Unlike most museums, the founders of the World War II museum encourage visitors to get up close and personal with the artifacts in the museum.  This is just one way in which they fulfill their mission of helping people to understand the human experience of war.  

The founders of the museum wanted something different than the curriculum offered by most museums that too often require students to either be passive observers or complete educationally questionable tasks like scavenger hunts.  They wanted something dynamic: lesson plans that were interactive and creative while also being flexible enough that teachers could seamlessly integrate them into their curriculum given their learning goals and particular students’ needs.  Furthermore, they wanted something that helped students to both understand the personal experiences of those who lived through the war and how the lessons that the war offers are still relevant to their lives’ today. 

The Concord River Institute delivered three cutting-edge prototypes in the spring of 2015.  The founders were thrilled with the curriculum as were the teachers and students who were engaged in beta-testing it.

The Concord River Institute was featured in the Museum’s May 2015 newsletter.

“The most exciting aspect of this curricula was to see how it sued the artifacts in the Museum — the Museum setting — to encourage students to think about the causes and consequences of war, and about issues that would have related directly to students their age at the time.  The Second World War came to life for them and they realized how personal and complex it was.” -Kenneth W. Rendell, Founder and Executive Director, Museum of World War II, Boston.