Daniel Calvert brought play back into the classroom as the focus of his Collaborative Student-Faculty Inquiry on Teacher Leadership.
Earlier this year, a little more than two-dozen Bank Street graduate students sat down in front of peers, faculty, family and friends to share what they learned and accomplished at the close of their IntegrativeMaster’sProject (IMP). On this particular occasion, it was the students who had chosen to pursue the Collaborative Student-Faculty Inquiry format for their IMP.
IMP: Collaborative Student-Faculty Inquiry
The Collaborative Student-Faculty Inquiry (CS-FI) route is a popular IMP option for a number of reasons. It’s only one semester, for starters—but more importantly, there’s a clear focus given to a student’s work that’s grounded within a strong peer support group.
What’s more, CS-FI topics are born out of passion—Supporting kids on the autism spectrum, Diversity: different for a purpose, How toddlers make friends, International Education, Play, to name a few—and represent a particular interest or concern of a Bank Street faculty member that will then be explored collaboratively throughout the semester amongst a handful of likeminded students.
For faculty member Gil Schmerler and the five students who joined his IMP, the passion was Teacher Leadership. Created on the firm belief that “successful schools require leadership from a full range of players, not just principals,” and with the full recognition that “Bank Street-prepared teachers will invariably be looked to for leadership in the schools in which they work,” this inquiry proved to be a key stepping stone towards the integration of theory and practice.
As Schmerler points out,