In this episode we are talking to Bobbi Macdonald, Executive Director of the City Neighbors Foundation in Baltimore, MD. This is the second is a series profiling schools and school leaders working toward learner-centered models. We’ve done many podcasts on personalizing and individualizing learning. With this series we want to amplify the practitioners’ voice, so we are connecting with innovative schools and leaders around the country to tell their story. Thanks to Kelly and Monica at Education Reimagined for helping us find these practitioners and make the connections! (Be sure to sign of for the newsletter, Pioneering!
Bobbi Macdonald is a founder and served as the first board president of City Neighbors Charter School. She was selected by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as one of 16 leaders from across the country for the 2013-2014 Children and Family Fellowship. Previously Bobbi taught early childhood education and kindergarten in two University child development laboratory schools, and served as literacy trainer for Head Start and the Children’s Literacy Initiative. Bobbi received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois in Human Development and Family Ecology, and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, in Curriculum and Instruction.
Beginning in the summer of 2003 as a grassroots movement among a group of city neighbors, 17 families worked together and submitted the charter for an arts-integrated, project-based, Reggio Emilia-inspired parent-school cooperative in Baltimore. Today, the City Neighbors network of three schools, K-12, serves more than 800 children.
In this episode we talked about:
- Let’s start with some background on City Neighbors. Tell us about how the school came to be and what makes it unique for learners in Baltimore.
- What is the vision of the individual child at City Neighbors and how in that honored in curriculum, instruction and assessment?
- Tell us about how the learning spaces at City Neighbors have been reimagined.
- Tell us why projects are so important at City Neighbors and share with us in some detail a real-world project students have worked on.
- What advice do you have for leaders wanting to move their schools toward a progressive vision for education like City Neighbors?
- What beautiful question are you thinking about now? What are you working on next with City Neighbors?
Join the Conversation
Each episode we leave you with a couple of questions to think about…with the idea of provoking conversation. This episode’s question:
- What elements of the City Neighbors learning experience could you focus on in your own school context?
Explore additional resources:
- Space to Learn Video
- City Neighbors Website
- On Twitter @CityNeighbors
- Bobbi at TEDx Baltimore
- ProgressiveEd Summit – November 2016
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