2018 Charlotte Mason Western Conference
July 25th - 28th, 2018
University of Redlands, Redlands, California
Parents and Teachers: Preparing Children to Live at Home, Community and Beyond
Plenary Speakers for 2018
Storm Hutchinson, Liz Cottrill and Dr. Jennifer Spencer
Since 2001, Storm has been a part of three Charlotte Mason Schools serving in many roles. He has been a teacher, a school board member, a volunteer serving on Administrative Committees and a founder of two Mason Schools. Currently he serves as an Instructional Coach helping teachers build classroom community and repair harm when it occurs at Gillingham Charter, a K-12 Charlotte Mason Public School located in Pottsville, PA. He and his wife Nicolle led the team that started the school in 2011. Storm is also a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary and a Free Methodist Pastor. He and Nicolle planted a church in 2012 which incorporates Mason’s principles into church life.
Plenary: Atmosphere and Relationships: How to Shape Atmosphere by Building a Strong Student Community
Student relationships have a significant impact on Atmosphere. As we work in a broken world full of broken relationships, how do we create habits of healthy relationships for our students? By building a strong student community we shape the will and mind of both students and teachers so that they are focused on strengthening and repairing relationships in the classroom and across the school community. The focus is also on how we prevent problems from occurring in the first place and what we need to do to ensure that practice and policy support this effort. These practices have been implemented in families, in schools, across school districts, in churches, and even throughout an entire town with dramatic results for over 30 years.
Plenary: The Unseen Foundation
Every teacher knows there is far more to teaching than choosing and implementing curriculum. Preparing the varied feast of school
Dr. Jennifer Spencer
Plenary: Understanding Cognitive Load and Its Implications for a Mason Education
Every task that we undertake costs something of us in terms of mental energy; that is, it has a "cognitive load." The more novel the task, the higher the cognitive load. The task feels difficult because our brains have to spend much attention and energy to accomplish it. As we practice the task over time, our brains do not have to work as hard, and the task feels easier to us; that is, the task has become automated to some degree. This fact has important implications for us as educators, as we try to determine when a child is ready for certain tasks. In this lecture, Dr. Spencer will discuss cognitive load, using Michael Polanyi's model of focal and subsidiary awareness, how it relates to various subjects of study, and how Mason's developmental and incremental learning model recognizes the importance of cognitive load.