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Tag Archives: Pedagogy

The Future of Libraries and the St. Mark’s Library

By  Coco Zephir, Head Librarian

The Future of Libraries and the St. Mark’s Library

img_6605Libraries are ever changing in both form and function. One aspect currently at the center of library innovation is user-experience (UX). UX focuses on meeting the needs of patrons to improve their experiences by making them more impactful and meaningful. UX is a reiterative process that involves constant conversation with your community. Libraries using UX are implementing human-centered design, or design thinking, to better understand their patron base. Human-centered design, “focuses on defining and then resolving concerns by paying attention to the needs, aspirations, and wishes of people” (Peet 2016). (more…)

A Presentation and Role Play in Chinese Classes

By Helen Huang and Amy Kim, III Form [Chinese II] & Soo Bin (Josh) Lee and Shep Greene, VI Form [Chinese IV]

Editor’s Note: from Rubo Fu, St. Mark’s faculty member–“In Chinese class, presentations and role plays require students to use vocabulary and grammar rules they have learned to create their own stories or give opinions. This allows them to develop creativity and have a better experience using the language.” 

Click on Image below for “Directional Complements” slide show in Chinese II









Click on Image below for a role play video of dialogue (transcript below) in Chinese IV










Empathy Through Education in China’s Xi Ma Yin Village

By Carrick Zhu, V Form

Empathy Through Education in China’s Xi Ma Yin Village

carrickschool3My mom and I began our volunteer teaching trip in 2014. With the help from the local Red Cross Organization in Ning Xia, China, we were able to find a local primary school situated in Xi Ma Yin village. Xi Ma Yin rests at the base of the Helan Mountain where the water supply is scarce. The villagers are mostly immigrants from the other side of the Helan Mountain. The elementary school where I worked is called Xi Ma Yin Immigrant Development Zone Elementary School. (more…)

Make Deep Work Your Superpower: Deep Work and School (Part 1)

By Dr. Colleen Worrell, Director of the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Make Deep Work Your Superpower: Deep Work and School (Part 1)

Want to learn complicated things quickly, be more productive, and generate higher quality work? Make Deep Work your superpower.

“Deep work” is a term coined by Georgetown University professor Cal Newport to refer to the ability to “focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task” (“Cal Newport on Deep Work”). In his newest book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (NY: Grand Central Publishing, 2016), Professor Newport argues persuasively that the ability to do deep work is the superpower of the 21st century. By training your ability to focus and by actively carving out time “for real intense focused work,” Newport argues that we can train our brains and cultivate habits that build a (more…)

Engaging in 20% Time for Lifelong Learning

By Casey Pickett, English Faculty

Engaging in 20% Time for Lifelong Learning

From the time I was in kindergarten, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. As a child, I spent Screenshot 2016-05-24 08.51.18countless hours in my basement forcing my four siblings to be my students while I taught them whatever lessons my teachers had taught me earlier in the day. So, as I entered my Masters in the Arts of Teaching (MAT) program at Northeastern in the Fall of 2013, I couldn’t have been more excited to FINALLY learn my craft. I showed up to my first class ready to write down the formula for becoming a good teacher. I was expecting my professor to tell me EXACTLY what I needed to do in order to teach my students everything there was to know about reading, writing, and analyzing literature. Throughout my 18 months in the MAT program, I never did get that formula. What I did get, however, was a constant reminder that my job as a teacher was to prepare my students to become lifelong learners. So, with lifelong learning in mind, I decided to have my students engage in a 20% Time project (based off of Google’s 20% Time policy). (more…)

The Quest to Improve the Teaching of Electricity in the St. Mark’s Introductory Physics Course

By Jacob Backon, STEM Faculty


The Quest to Improve the Teaching of Electricity in the St. Mark’s Introductory Physics Course


In response to research indicating significant conceptual misunderstandings of basic electrical concepts, the physics teachers at St. Mark’s incorporated the CASTLE curriculum into the introductory physics course. Over the past few years this curriculum has met with two significant challenges: delivering efficient feedback in response to student model building, and the time it takes to move through the curriculum. Canvas modules were used to address these challenges, and a concept test was administered before and after instruction to gather data on the effectiveness of these techniques. Preliminary data with a very small sample size indicates the CASTLE curriculum and Canvas modules did result in higher scores on the concept test than data reported from a more traditional style of instruction. (more…)