Community Education

Far From The Tree – Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Dr. Jill Walsh Presents to Parents at Pollard on Topic of Social Media

Dr. Jill Walsh, a Boston University professor, is working with the Pollard Middle School to help students better navigate the world of social media.

At her first presentation to parents on September 11, 2018, she provided a lecture entitled:  “The Good, the Bad, and the Confusing:  navigating the teen media landscape”.

Here is a copy of slides used during Dr. Walsh’s presentation.

 

 

Film Screening of “Beyond Measure”

First in Education Film Series Funded by 2016 Spring Grant
 
On October 20, over 200 parents and community members gathered for a screening and panel discussion of Beyond Measure, an award-winning documentary, which outlines problems with our current education system and paints a picture of what’s possible in our schools.  The film follows five public schools across the country “breaking away from an outmoded test-drive education [and] shaping a new vision for our classrooms”. 
 
While many other education-themed films focus on shortcomings, including disparities in student achievement, low graduation rates and poor attendance, Beyond Measure looks at the innovations at work in school districts across the nation. Rather than asking why students are failing when tested and compared with peers, the film asks us to reconsider the greater purpose of education: What if our education system valued personal growth over test scores? What if it focused on project-based learning versus memorization or encouraged passion over rankings? What if we decided that the higher aim of school was not the transmission of facts, but the transformation of students?
 
The panelists for the evening included Dr. Elizabeth Coleman, former President of Bennington College, who led the university through an educational reformation; Dr. Beth Hennessey, Professor of Psychology at Wellesley College, who focuses her research on creativity and intrinsic motivation; and Dr. Jay Moody, Entrepreneur and Innovation Coach at Wayland High School.
 
The panelists concurred with the film’s theories and ideas, and they shared their thoughts on what our society needs to consider in order to improve the status of our educational infrastructure. Dr. Coleman stressed the importance of great teachers in education, noting that any approach to educational reform is only as good as the teachers who teach it. Dr. Hennessey added that it’s important that educators engage students in their own education, so that it will be individually relevant. Dr. Moody noted that while it is possible to have courses like the ones shown in Beyond Measure in our public schools, it would be very difficult to change completely to project-based coursework. The rest of the evening continued with lively discussion, with topics ranging from homework in elementary school to gap years for high school graduates.
 
With this grant, the five elementary school PTC’s have organized screenings of three additional films for the remainder of this school year. This will include a re-screening of Most Likely to Succeed, small group screenings and discussions of the PBS film series Raising of America, and screening and panel discussion of Race to Nowhere. Dates and information about the future film screenings will be available soon.

Film Screening of “Most Likely to Succeed”

Most Likely to Succeed Panel Photo

“Most Likely to Succeed” has been heralded as the “best film ever done on the topic of school.” This film talks about a project-based approach to teaching and learning.

 For most of the last century, entry-level jobs were plentiful, and college was an affordable path to a fulfilling career. That world no longer exists. The feature-length documentary Most Likely to Succeed examines the history of education, revealing the growing shortcomings of our school model in todayʼs innovative world. The film has been named “among the best edu-documentaries ever produced” by Education Week, and called a “smart and engaging look at education in the 21st century” by The Hollywood Reporter. Most Likely To Succeed, a film by award-winning documentarian Greg Whiteley, was an official selection of the 2015 Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals.

The free film screening took place on Thursday, March 24th at Newman Elementary School in Needham, MA followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with participants.

The panel included:

  • Daniel E. Gutekanst, Superintendent of Needham Public Schools
  • Robert Martello, Professor of the History of Science and Technology, Olin College, Needham, MA
  • Mark Somerville, Special Advisor to the Provost, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics, Olin College, Needham, MA
  • Daniel Warren, Sample & Recruitment Manager at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University; Former Grade 5 Teacher at Newman Elementary School in Needham, MA

Read coverage of the screening in the Needham Times.

Learn more about the film at http://www.mltsfilm.org/

NEF Sponsors Another Series of Needham Talks Lectures

Needham Talks Photo

Needham Talks is proud to present another exciting free series of talks focused on the promotion of supportive and healthy parenting practices.  New York Times bestselling authors and internationally acclaimed speakers will be visiting our community to share their knowledge of…

  • How to effectively manage hectic lifestyles and enhance family relationships.
  • Strategies for raising authentic and emotionally intelligent girls.
  • The impact of fathers/male role models on children’s development.
  • Understanding adolescence and how to build a new relationship with your tween/teen.
  • How to discuss hard or sensitive topics with your child.

Reserve your seats today for one, two, or all five lectures at https://needhamtalks.eventbrite.com.  Space is limited!

Questions, please contact Angeline Maughan at needhamtalks2015@gmail.com. Special thank you to Needham Education Foundation (NEF) for funding this lecture series.

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