Micro-credentials are a big trend in education, and the College of Education is making it easier than ever for teachers to earn professional development hours that not only transform teaching and learning but inspire student creativity.
The first courses designed for PreK-12 educators were co-developed with K-State alums. Genius Hour: Theory into Practice is ideal for teachers whose goal is to help their students discover their passions and creativity through inquiry-based learning. Flexible Seating: Theory into Practice and Application is a brain-based classroom redesign concept that fosters on-task behavior and boosts academic performance. Judy Hughey, associate professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, developed the college’s first micro-credential, Individual Plan of Study Advisor.
Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction and coordinator of the office of innovation and collaboration, said micro-credentials have inspired students to address issues important to them.
“One Wichita area teacher watched in awe as Genius Hour students met with staff members from their local Human Society to propose their “Dog Tinder” App to eliminate the need to euthanize animals,” Martinez said. “Another Genius Hour group scheduled a 5K race to benefit abused animals and more than 200 people signed up. Student projects have also influenced school lunch menus and promoted community dialogue.”
Martinez added there is great power in allowing teachers to take ownership over their professional learning and K-State faculty are using this data to add to the college’s research on the power of individualized professional development for educators.