Time to STEAM things up: An Intro

This month marks the end of the first of three years in partnership with University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Science's Teaching Innovation Studio and San Diego Unified School District.  The focus of this partnership is a Department of Education Grant that focuses on creating four STEAM academies at Magnet schools here in San Diego.  STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) teaching is sweeping the nation, but is also a somewhat nebulous concept.  ECC is privileged to represent the University of San Diego alongside Dr. Joi Spencer as a professional development facilitator on this project, facilitating the learning of teachers as they develop their capacities as STEAM educators.   The first year on any project is one of great learning and one that is allowing me to see more clearly the opportunities for growth within schools.   I am so excited about the progress made within the schools at which we work.  

Yesterday we met with a group of SDUSD administrators, teachers, parents, students to discuss the outcomes of the project so far and to present our learning.  It is always an incredible experience to pause in a project and run a pulse check.   As you know, our mission is to facilitate deep, lasting change and impact and schools.  This team of teachers is making great strides in their STEAM teaching, but also their own awareness of their teaching.  There were several moments during their presentation that I was reminded that the experiential learning that this type of professional development provides allows for the greatest impact on teaching.  In essence, students win when teachers have time to reflect, improve and own their practice.

2nd grade teachers from San Diego Unified share their insights on STEAM education.

2nd grade teachers from San Diego Unified share their insights on STEAM education.

  This blog series will focus on the project so far and will take you on the journey with us as we move into Year 2.  Stay tuned for more about what we have been doing in San Diego Unified.

New Year, New Name, New Focus

Happy 2015!  Yes, it is February.  And yes, we are a little late to be wishing you a Happy New Year!  However, we've been busy around here.  Those of you that have faithfully followed EEC throughout the years have probably noticed that things have changed around here.  For one, we have a new name.  We'll get to that in a few minutes.  We also have a broader focus to encompass the expanded work that we have been tackling for awhile!

Did you know that this is our 10th anniversary?  I can hardly believe it, but it's true!  Back in January 2005 I started this company to focus on the curriculum and assessment work while becoming a mom for the first time.  We were little, scrappy and had a very narrow focus and one client.  Over the years we grew our client base.  We also grew our services to include professional development seminars.  We were finding our way--the projects a little bigger, the clients more varied, the impact more widespread. 

Along the way I realized that in order to make deep change in schools, professional development had to change.  I embarked on my M.Ed work.  My research focus was on methodologies that allowed teams of teachers to make deep and meaningful change through the power of collective leadership.  Change was at the front of my mind.  How can we innovate the world of education?

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, I was also busy in the community.  An active volunteer, I served the Junior Leagues of Evanston-North Shore and San Diego.  In 2010, I was elected as future President of The Junior League of San Diego (2012-2013).  In preparation for leading 1000 female volunteers and serving as both Executive Director and Chair of the Board of Directors, I needed training!  Fortunately, I was prepared by the Association of Junior Leagues International  with a crash course in nonprofit management.  This experience has led to other meaningful volunteer experiences.

So what's my point? Why did I walk you through a ten-year retrospective?   Well, these experiences have given us the tools, strategies and competencies to broaden our educational consulting to the community and beyond.  And with that change, our name Edstrom Educational Consulting was no longer so apt.  So we are now Edstrom Community Consulting.  We still do the work for which you know us, but we are expanding, drawing parallels and creating social innovation solutions that are...well...innovative!

We hope you will come along with us on this exciting ride!  We can't wait to update you on the new partners, learning, training and community change that we will embrace for our next ten years!