9/15/2002 - The Third Annual CIERA Summer Institute came to a close on Saturday, July 27, with a general session titled The Grand Finale: A Summary of the 3rd Annual CIERA Summer Institute. Calling up the Institutes Cirque de CIERA theme, David Pearson (former CIERA director and current dean of the University of CaliforniaBerkeley School of Education) compared teaching to a complex circus act, which requires teachers to balance demands, juggle needs, sometimes even jump through hoops. Although he noted that the stakes are high, Dr. Pearson emphasized that discipline, practice, and artistry can result in wonderful opportunities for young children to become thoughtful and competent learners.
The Institute brought together 25 speakers and more than 250 participants for five days of intensive discussion of the latest research-based methods for teaching reading. This years themeAligning Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Empowering Teachers and Learnersencouraged participants to explore ways for bringing the diverse aspects of classroom teaching into line, in order to more accurately gauge student progress and effectively teach children to read.
Over the last three years, the Institute has become known for an atmosphere of dynamism, innovation, and collaboration. Participants from all 50 states and from countries as distant as Poland and Micronesia have gathered at the annual meetings to explore every aspect of literacy teaching and learning, from working with low-achieving students to scaffolding comprehension, to supporting the development of a schoolwide professional culture. As in years past, the practitioners and researchers at the 2002 Institute quickly and enthusiastically set themselves to the task of devising new methods for applying CIERAs five years of intensive literacy research (49 far-reaching studies, involving more than 65 leading investigators) to their schools, classrooms, and districts. The results were impressive: participants reported that they were leaving with new information, ideas, and connections, which they planned to take back to their schools and classrooms and make them better places for teaching all children to read.
The University of Michigan School of Education will continue the Institute series with a fourth annual meeting in the summer of 2003. Please check back with us at www.ciera.org for details as they become available.