Featured Projects & Publications
The Merck-Horton Center supports research and innovative teacher initiatives throughout the year. Within the framework of annual research with university partners and grants for individual and collaborative work, each project is driven by the curiosity and dedication of St. George’s faculty.
Because our research is highly coveted by education experts, a number of scholarly journals have published our findings.
The Case for Innovation in Education
By Eric F. Peterson and Thomas Callahan, published in The Parents League of New York Review (2015)
Independent schools have a long and well-documented history of evolving to meet the needs of society. In fact, the first schools established in colonial America were private schools. By the beginning of the 18th century, as the need for an educated populace grew, grammar schools had begun to offer a broader range of subject offerings. Through the industrial revolution and the urbanization of the American population, education became ever more vital to progress; American states slowly signed compulsory education into law. … Read the full article
By Catherine Glennon, Christina Hinton, Thomas Callahan and Kurt W. Fischer, published in Mind, Brain & Education (2013)
Long ago, John Dewey (1899) described a gap between research and practice in education. Over a century later, we are still confronted with this issue. Much research on learning is not embodied in practices in schools, and the practical expertise of teachers rarely informs education research. There is a need to create an infrastructure that integrates research and practice in education. … Read the full article
Creating a Student-Centered Language Learning Class Through Technology Enhanced Mastery Learning
by Thomas Callahan and Allison de Horsey, published in SIGIS, the newsletter of the International Society for Technology in Education (2012)
The terms “student-centered” “diﬀerentiated classroom” and “mastery learning” have become commonplace in the educational literature. This article describes one teacher’s approach to putting those theories into practice in an independent secondary school French 2 classroom. The methods used to implement the theoretical constructs included self-paced, competency-based and technology-enhanced learning. While bridging the gap between educational research and practice, the goals of this pilot project are for students to achieve higher levels of achievement, developing deeper understanding and ability to effectively manage their learning. This work was written by the classroom teacher and evaluation and support was provided by the Director of Teaching and Learning. Originally intended to run for just a two-week pilot period, this student-centered approach has been expanded to the end of this school year for a total interval of approximately eight weeks. … Read the full article
Combining New Pedagogies and Technologies to Meet Specific Curricular Challenges
By Thomas Callahan and Thomas Evans, published in SIGIS, the newsletter of the International Society for Technology in Education (2011)
Teachers face constant pressure to cover course material and to provide depth of understanding at the same time. This article reviews an innovative pedagogy developed by a veteran secondary independent schoolteacher to help improve the quality of his AP Biology classes. This teacher, through consulting current research findings and experimenting in his classroom, combined several pedagogical methods that included the meaningful integration of technology and shifting the agency for learning from the teacher to the student. These methods are consistent with the Performance Indicators described by the International Society for Technology in Education in their National Educational Technology Standards for Students and Teachers. … Read the full article