The Henry R. Kravis '63 Center for Excellence in Teaching
The Henry R. Kravis '63 Center for Excellence in Teaching, an initiative launched by the school in the fall of 2010, is designed to make professional development for teachers a part of daily life as opposed to a “sometime thing.”
The center is the brainchild of Dean of Faculty Ned Parsons and Head of School Sheila Culbert and was made possible by the generosity of Henry R. Kravis ’63.
Scott MacClintic ’82, a longtime member of the Science Department, is the center’s director. Scott’s enthusiasm for this endeavor is both enormous and contagious. Working from his deeply-held conviction that “great teachers are made, not born,” Scott focuses on helping all Loomis Chaffee faculty members tap into resources not only beyond the Island, but — most importantly — within the school.
A tremendous number of invaluable resources for teachers are developing around the globe, and Scott spends a significant amount of time researching new techniques and opportunities in order to update the center’s resources constantly.
Scott reports that in its inaugural year, more than 90 percent of the school's teachers have had at least one interaction with the Kravis Center. “Clearly,” he emphatically states, “this is evidence of just how much Loomis Chaffee teachers want to reach out to their colleagues, in addition to tapping into external resources, in their quest to be better at their craft.”
As an example of the kind of change brought about through this collaboration, Scott points to discussions involving the amount of time students spend on homework. As a result of teachers sharing their various approaches to homework as well as looking seriously at the research being done on this topic, many teachers reduced the amount of homework they were assigning with no drop in performance on tests.
With the growing momentum for professional development, interdisciplinary collaborations, and exploration in new pedagogical methods, the Kravis Center’s upward trajectory will continue to enrich life in the classrooms of Loomis Chaffee.
Scott blogs and tweets regularly. You can follow him on Twitter @smacclintic or on his blog, Pelican Ponderings.