Partnership News
February 2015
In This Issue


Last week, I participated in a Diversity in STEM Forum organized by the Pioneer Valley STEM Network. STEM actors and advocates from education and business came together to share ideas on how to address the underrepresentation of women and people of color in STEM fields. I gained energy from hearing what local institutions and individuals are already doing in this arena. I was also reminded of how much more needs to be done and how those of us with responsibility for such programming need to continue to look at the underlying inequities in our society that lead to the gender, color, and class gaps in STEM fields. More than ever, we need to work together across educational levels to keep moving forward while also uncovering roots of the problem. 


The Partnership is committed to supporting the efforts of western Massachusetts educators to engage in dialogue on these and other challenging issues. On March 5, 2015, Five College Partnership Programs will host the first in a series of Education Dialogues, this one on the question: What can we do locally about equity in our schools?  See event information below. All area educators are invited! 


All the best,

Marla Solomon

Director, Five College Partnership Programs 

Partnership Update

March 5 Education Dialogue: What can we do locally about equity in our schools? We warmly invite educators from across the western Massachusetts region--including teachers, leaders, teacher educators, and pre-service teachers--to participate in a conversation circle and working groups, co-facilitated by Pasi Sahlberg, author of Finnish Lessons: What Can We Learn from Educational Change in Finland? and visiting professor of practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Maria Jos´┐Ż Botelho, associate professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture in the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.   


The purpose of the event is to create a space where educators can learn from each other, sharing ideas about how they enact equity at the personal, group, and institutional levels, and working toward actions. You are invited! The dialogue will take place March 5, 2015, 4:00-8:00 pm, at the UMass Springfield Center. Dinner will be served. Please click here for more information and to register. For a printable flyer click here.                                                                                                                                                                                                               
The purpose of the Dialogue series is to bring our region's K-12 and higher education communities together to dive deeply into current issues and questions of concern to public K-12 education. This first dialogue commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Five College Schools Partnership Program.

Applications are due March 2, 2015, for our second NEH Summer Institute for Teachers on Native American history, Native Americans of New England: A Historical Overview, directed by University of Massachusetts Amherst historian Alice Nash at UMass Amherst July 6-24, 2015. During the three-week institute, participants will examine the history of Native American peoples in New England from before the onset of European colonization through the present day, discovering how the past and the present are linked. A $2,700 stipend is provided to help cover participants' expenses. K-12 teachers from the U.S. and its territories or teaching in American schools abroad are eligible to apply. Visit the project website for more information about this exciting program and to apply.


The Western Massachusetts Math Partnership (WMMP) will offer two professional learning communities (PLCs) on algebraic thinking this spring, one in Northampton and one in Springfield, March-May. Many thanks to the school district administrators who are supporting this work. If you are interested in participating in a spring 2015 WMMP PLC, visit our webpage. To receive WMMP news, join the WMMP listserv.


A Student Day of Poetry organizing meeting was held on February 11 at Smith College. Western Massachusetts middle and high school teachers are invited to bring students to a Western Massachusetts Student Day of Poetry in December 2015. The February 11 meeting sought teachers' input on how to make this first-time regional MassPoetry event a great success. If you are interested in having your school or class participate, contact MassPoetry. More information about the December 2015 Student Day of Poetry in future newsletters.  


The Partnership was invited by the Longview Foundation to submit a proposal for the creation of Doors to the World, a web-based resource to support PreK-3 teachers' use of global children's picture books in their classrooms. Partners on the project include Hampshire College's Childhood, Youth, and Learning Program, the UMass Amherst College of Education, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, the Five College Center for East Asian Studies, and the UMass Amherst Center for Educational Software. We will know the results of our submission in late April.  


New program ideas? Questions? Don't hesitate to contact the Partnership office.

Featured Resource 

New web resource! Japanese Tea Ceremony: The Way of Tea  


The Way of Tea is a new web resource about the Japanese Tea Ceremony, created and launched by the Five College Center for East Asian Studies (FCCEAS). Says Anne Prescott, Director of the Center, "We created the website in response to interest from art educators, specifically those who teach ceramics. Many of those teachers have their students make Japanese tea bowls, and they want their students to understand the context in which the tea bowls are used, specifically the history and aesthetics of the tea ceremony and how those influence tea bowl design. They also indicated that they had not been able to find videos of the entire tea ceremony with adequate English explanations. So our goal was to create videos of the entire tea ceremony for two different ceremony styles, as well as shorter videos showing important portions of the tea ceremony. Teachers also requested information on the individual tea implements so that students will understand how those implements fit into the larger picture, and what aesthetic characteristics the tea bowls and other implements share. We hope to develop implementation strategies over the next year for Japanese language and social studies classes. One of the segments (on bowing) could be used to demonstrate the importance of that social ritual in Japan. We're also currently working on a history curriculum unit on international tea trade which will complement the tea ceremony website. That should be available by early summer 2015."  


Yuko Eguchi, a doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of Pittsburgh who is also an accredited tea master, created most of this digital curriculum for the Five College Center for East Asian Studies. Yuko is a native of Tokyo, did her undergrad at Bates College in ME, and is (hopefully!) very close to completing her PhD at Pitt. 

Opportunities for Educators
Meridian is seeking a full-time mathematics and science teacher excited about the opportunity to teach and co-teach integrated Math/Science/Technology classes. To see a sample of their current course offerings, please click here.
The Collaborative for Educational Services in partnership with UMass Amherst Department of History, Springfield Armory National Historic Site, and Springfield Museums, is offering week long NEH summer institute on the topic: Forge of Innovation. For more information, click here.

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to educating the public about our government, invigorating public discourse, encouraging participatory democracy, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders. Visit their website for more information about useful resources for teachers.   
Check out the 22nd Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival which starts February 9th and continues throughout the year.
Girls STEM Summit Statewide is a one-day summit designed by the Massachusetts non-profit, Jr.Tech, Inc., for girls in grades 8-12 to explore STEM career paths. This important career event for girls will be held on Sunday, June 14, 2015 at Regis College in Weston, MA. The event will run from 8:15 am-4:15 pm. For more information and registration click here.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing at UMass welcomes high school students in grades 10-12 from across the northeast and beyond to visit thecampus on April 11th, 2015, to engage in exciting hands-on science activities, demonstrations, and guided lab tours. Science Quest is a one-day event and it is ENTIRELY FREE to all attendees.
Check out Museum10's new and improved website.


Send relevant announcements of opportunities for educators for this newsletter to Marla Solomon.