Mid-Pacific: A 21st Century Center of Teaching & Learning - Mid-Pacific Institute

President's Blog

Mid-Pacific: A 21st Century Center of Teaching & Learning

Posted on September 30, 2014

by Dr. Paul Turnbull on September 30, 2014

At Mid-Pacific, we consistently engage and support our students with important 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. In fact, we often have 1 or 2 groups on campus each week to visit classrooms and participate in an exchange of ideas with students and faculty alike. Here are just two examples of unique collaborative activities for our students and our teachers that are happening on campus today:

At the Mid-Pacific School of the Arts, we are reaching beyond our shores to collaborate with students and teachers from the Western Academy of Beijing, an IB school in China with an outstanding dance program. As the picture below shows, our unique program brings students from different countries together to collaborate, share, and create in ways that wouldn't be possible without our unique connections with friends across the Pacific Ocean. (The students in the picture are debriefing after collaborating on unique performances from each school.)

WAB & Mid_Pacific Dancers.JPG

We also engage our faculty on these important 21st century skills. Today, our 6th grade faculty team is collaborating with Chris Hazleton from Fielding Nair International (FNI) on instructional design as a collaborative team, and the innovative use of open space for middle school instruction. Mid-Pacific recently partnered with FNI to reimagine our entire campus master plan (more on that exciting news later!), and to deepen our instructional practices as we plan for the opening of a new Middle School building in 2015. The picture below shows our 6th grade team hard at work, building the foundational cornerstones of their innovative instructional design.

6th Gr. Team.JPG

The work of FNI is internationally renowned for rethinking how traditional school spaces are used. At Mid-Pacific, we found a perfect partner in FNI and local firm Media5 Architecture because we believe that instructional practices are at the core of what we do, and because we believe in constantly evolving our practices to a higher level.

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The image above gives a glimpse of how we are reimagining the use of our instructional spaces on campuses for the future. We will be unveiling our new campus plan to our community in a few weeks...stay tuned! To underscore the growing movement of innovative design for schools of the future, this accompanying interview, courtesy of Marketplace, reveals how Mid-Pacific is aligning itself with the progressive edge of campus redesign in the US and around the world (skip to 3:30 for the interview with FNI's principal Prakash Nair).

I am looking forward to talking about our upcoming middle school campus projects! Until then,

E Kūlia Kākou,

Paul Turnbull, Ph.D.