Teachers’ Institute Project: K-12 Teachers Institute Facilitator Training

On August 14-15, WIPPS launched the first phase of its Teachers’ Institute project. An eager group of teachers, teachers-in-training, and education majors met at the UW Center for Civic Engagement in Wausau to participate in a two day workshop that focused on skill building in reflective deliberation pedagogies. Connie Abert, UW-Extension agent from Waupaca County, and John Greenwood, WIPPS Civic Engagement and Outreach Consultant, taught the course; participants included teachers from local districts, charter schools, and higher education, and student teachers and current education majors at UW- Stevens Point. The workshop provided participants with training in the National Issues Forum model of public deliberation, with a special emphasis on using reflective practices to plan service-learning projects in the classroom. Since November 2009, WIPPS has been in collaboration with the UW-Stevens Point School of Education to create the foundation for the Teachers’ Institute. WIPPS staff began with a presentation on deliberation to the Pre-Kindergarten–18 Council, a group of North Central Wisconsin professional educators from pre-elementary, elementary, middle school, high school and higher education, to explain the goals, applications, and WIPPS initiatives regarding deliberative forums. The result was a request by the PK-18 Council to experience a deliberative forum, which occurred in April 2010.

Subsequently, UWSP faculty and WIPPS personnel developed a course on deliberation and service learning (DSL) to be taught by WIPPS staff through the School of Education in August 2011. The course goals are to weave deliberative and service learning teaching methodologies together to equip teachers with skills to promote student civic engagement. To augment the course, pre-service and in-service professional development in DSL methods will be offered on an annual basis for faculty, staff and students in the UWSP Department of Professional Studies at UWMC and at WIPPS.