Matt Glendinning, Applied Learning: Collaborative Problem Solving + STEAM

The Path to Higher Ed is a SchooLinks hosted podcast community that explores trending topics and issues in the area of college and career readiness. Our featured guests are pushing education forward by constantly learning from, innovating and applying their college and career readiness practices. Listen to gain their insights and apply them to your own college and career readiness practices.

In this episode, Matt Glendinning, Head of School of Moses Brown School, discusses how his school is investing in its students’ futures through both STEM and liberal arts education. At Moses Brown, college readiness starts with family engagement in the 9th grade. Beyond college readiness, Matt also discusses the technology forward mindset of the school and how Applied Learning is being used to build real-world skills right now.

About Matt Glendinning

Matt Glendinning is Head of School at Moses Brown School, an N-12 Quaker school in Providence, RI. A teacher, administrator and athlete with 20 years’ experience in Friends schools, Glendinning previously served as upper school head at Moorestown Friends School in New Jersey and history teacher at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia. He has published widely on a variety of topics, including strategic planning, design thinking, fundraising, leadership, curriculum design, multiculturalism, pedagogy, and technology. Glendinning earned his BA from Dartmouth, a master’s in education from Arcadia University, and a master’s and doctorate in classical archaeology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

About Moses Brown School

History. Founded in 1784, MB has been a leader in education for over 230 years. It has a proven tradition of academic excellence, a commitment to great teaching, and a dedication to fostering character and confidence in young people. Its stunning 33-acre campus — formerly the farm of 18th century Quaker abolitionist Moses Brown — provides expansive academic, artistic and athletic facilities right in the heart of urban Providence.

Mission. MB is a Quaker school, one of the oldest and largest of a network of 80 Friends schools in the U.S. While each is independent, they all share the same essential mission: to nurture and celebrate each child’s special gifts, talents, and identities — what we often refer to as their Inner Light.

To that end, at MB students are immersed in an incredibly varied and rigorous program, including 17 musical and performance groups across the school, 50 clubs and activities, and 58 athletic teams competing in 20 different sports. Upper school students choose from among two dozen AP and honors courses. And while individual achievement is prized at MB, the school also fosters a close sense of community, evident in its collaborative relationships between students and teachers and weekly meeting for worship.

Innovation. Recognizing that the world is constantly changing, it believes that world-class education needs to change in response. MB is committed to understanding and meeting the needs of each rising generation.

Exciting initiatives currently underway include:

  • A school-wide program in applied learning, which uses methods like Project-Based Learning, and subjects like Engineering & Design or Social Entrepreneurship to teach creative problem solving

  • A 5,000 sq. ft. makerspace called the Y-Lab that supports “hands on, minds” on learning, including a dedicated Vex Robotics lab

  • Last year MB sent 180 students on more than a dozen expeditions

  • Construction of the Woodman Family Community & Performance Center, a state-of-the-art, 36,000 sq. ft. venue uniquely designed to support all the ways — artistic, academic, spiritual, and social — that it gathers as a community

  • Completely new facilities for tennis, baseball, soccer and — coming in November 2017 — a 12-court squash facility that will serve both MB and Boston-based non-profit SquashBusters, a college readiness program focusing on at-risk urban youth.

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