Skip to Content

2016 Critical Explorers Summer Workshop

« Events
No replies
ScratchEd Team
From the Critical Explorers website:

We are now accepting applications for the Critical Explorers Summer Workshop. If you are interested in attending, we encourage you to apply today.
Immerse yourself in exploratory teaching and learning at the 3-day teacher workshop — August 15-17, 2016.
Scroll down to read comments from workshop participants
Bringing students into direct contact with complex, interesting materials, and offering teachers unique strategies for revealing and encouraging students’ ideas and helping them discover and pursue puzzles and questions, critical exploration is a distinctive teaching method that powerfully supports student inquiry, expanding students’ awareness of their own intellectual capacities while deepening teachers’ understanding of their students’ potential.
This workshop for upper elementary, middle school, and high school teachers will help prepare you to harness the power of critical exploration in your classroom.  You will experience and discuss exploratory activities and curriculum, observe and reflect on teaching strategies, and strengthen your understanding and practice of critical exploration, whatever your previous experience.  
Highlights include:
Sessions each day with Eleanor Duckworth,
Professor Emerita, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Experiencing and discussing curriculum developed by Critical Explorers
in collaboration with teachers in public school classrooms this year
Special discussion groups formed in response to your interests,
with topics such as writing, assessment, and thematic and interdisciplinary curriculum
Sharing practical ideas for expanding and sustaining student inquiry in your classroom
The Critical Explorers Summer Workshop will take place Monday to Wednesday, August 15-17, in Cambridge, MA. More details will be sent to those who apply.  We look forward to receiving your application.
Cost:  $425
Questions?  Please email us at
“It was great to have a lesson presented that I will use all year. … I so appreciate this opportunity. I plan to be back. I plan to read your books, check in on your website, review a Piaget primer… Thank you.”
Kathryn Koontz, Stevenson School, Carmel, CA
“I think that we’re really building life-long learners – people who can think and speak and ask questions and be okay with not knowing the right answer right away . . . . This has changed not only the way that I teach but also the way that I learn, and I hope this for all teachers. I really think this is the best thing we could do for our kids.”
Lynette Goulet, Watertown Middle School, Watertown, MA
“Now, when I’m making my lessons I’m always thinking, what am I saying to students, and how can I expose my students’ thinking?”
Laszlo Bardos, Rivendell Academy, Fairlee, VT and Orford, NH
“Through Critical Explorers, kids learn the value of patience and deliberateness, and that really hit home for me a couple of years ago when I got the first group of students in my 9th grade course who had gone through the Critical Explorers program in 7th grade. I gave them something to do, and they really dug into it — to a degree that I had never seen before. And I knew it was because of their CE experience. I think that’s a great thing to be able to teach kids to do — to dig deep, and be thoughtful, and careful, and patient, as they wrestle with big ideas.”
Kraig Gustafson, History Coordinator, Watertown Public Schools, Watertown, MA
“My looking at the piece [in Steve Seidel's session on looking at classroom work] felt like an ‘opening up’ process as opposed to the ‘narrowing’ feeling or process I sense when ‘correcting’ or typically ‘commenting’ on a student’s work.  The order of the steps encouraged wondering and, in the process — awe.”
Holly Turner, The Common School, Amherst, MA
“When a veteran teacher comes to me and says, ‘You know, I’ve been through a lot of professional development activities before and this one really hit home for me, it really resonated with me,’ you have to give the teachers a chance to explore that as much as they can.”
Kimo Carter, Principal, Watertown Middle School, Watertown, MA
“What if we were doing this from year to year, from grade to grade, every teacher approaching it from their own context, their own curricular perspective as we went along, what would that do over time for the thinking of our students?”
Gordon Christie-Maples, Samuel Morey Elementary School, Fairlee, VT and Orford, NH