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Feb. 21, 2017
By Lexi Ryan, media relations assistant
Laura King, a first grade instructor at Northwest Missouri State University’s Horace Mann Laboratory School attended the 2017 Kagan Winter Academy Jan. 13-16 in Dallas, Texas.
King received a full scholarship to attend the four-day workshop. Kagan Professional Development offers opportunities for educators, guided by a philosophy of requiring participation from every student frequently and equally while creating gains for struggling students. Kagan establishes structures in which 50 to 100 percent of students in a classroom can respond at a time instead of just one student responding at a time.
Workshop topics included teaching, coaching, accelerating achievement, and social and thinking skills.
“It’s hard to sum up all I gained from the Kagan Cooperative Learning Training,” King said. “It had to be the most energizing training I’ve ever attended. My three biggest takeaways were increased student engagement, increased social interactions and creating a collaborative learning environment.”
King plans to implement Kagan Cooperative Learning techniques at Horace Mann. She said she was most impressed with the social interactions Kagan facilitates that allow for a sense of safety to speak in front of others and help build participation in small groups of two to four students.
Horace Mann helps teacher candidates learn strategies they can apply to student teaching and their own classrooms after graduation. Giving teacher candidates experience with multiple strategies empowers them to use effective ways to educate their students, King said.
“The ability to collaborate with others is an essential life and work skill,” King said. “The careers our students will seek in the future will require them to work with others to solve complex problems. It is important for our students to understand the importance of not only sharing their ideas, but to listen to the ideas of others.”
King began teaching at Northwest in 2014. She received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at Missouri Western State University and her master’s in education from Baker University.
Horace Mann, with the Phyllis and Richard Leet Center for Children and Families, serves as a clinical teaching environment for students in Northwest’s School of Education. Students reap the benefits of low student-to-teacher ratio in classrooms that implement innovative teaching practices and provide learning experiences designed to stimulate each child’s creative learning abilities and problem-solving skills. For more information about Horace Mann and the Leet Center, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/horacemann.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468