Teachers reflect on active learning as they begin a Touchstones workshop at a Montessori conference in Charleston, SC.

One way the Touchstones Discussion Project reaches new teachers and school administrators is by attending and presenting at educational conferences. To showcase how Touchstones uses student-centered discussion to build engagement, critical thinking, and leadership, our trainers attend conferences around the country and in Canada and provide interactive, hands-on practice while modeling an actual Touchstones lesson. It’s a fun and effective means for immersing educators in an instructional approach that uniquely fosters student participation, cooperation, critical thinking, active listening and collaboration—all through discussion.

Touchstones attends many different types of conferences for educators, including those for teachers at independent schools in the US and Canada, American and International Montessori schools, International Baccalaureate schools, colleges and universities, public and public-charter schools, and conferences focused on students identified with advanced learning abilities or talents. While teachers have the opportunity to explore how Touchstones programs support positive socio-behavioral and academic growth, we get the chance to meet and cultivate new relationships.

What do teachers who attend our conference sessions have to say? One attendee at an AMS conference wrote after her Touchstones workshop that it was “inspiring,” while an eighth-grade teacher at another conference said, “I found the application and learning of Touchstones principles thoroughly engaging and useful.” Following a workshop this summer for charter school educators, an administrator from Arizona shared, “I found this workshop extraordinarily valuable…. I am so grateful to Touchstones for this knowledge, this experience, and these materials.” This is what introducing Touchstones to new teachers and students is all about!