Spoon River College Foundation Receives Grant From Caterpillar Foundation

The Spoon River College Foundation has been awarded a generous grant from the Caterpillar Foundation in support of the Havana School District’s “Flipping the Classroom” project.  The grant funds will be used to implement the project in 2012-13.

“We are very grateful to the Caterpillar Foundation for considering this new instructional program in Havana,” said Kevin Gaul, Chairman of the SRC Foundation.  “The linear pathway between secondary schools, post-secondary educational institutions, and business and industry is more vital than ever before.  A collaborative effort such as this enables us to prepare a better workforce for the future.”

The “Flipping the Classroom” project involves providing instructional lectures and information via electronic delivery through the internet or DVDs.  This information replaces traditional homework and is used as a preview to upcoming classroom activities.  The students then collaborate with the teacher and peer students during the classroom time to put the information into practice.

“One of the benefits of flipping the classroom is that it frees up more class time for student-centered learning,” said Dr. Mark Twomey, Superintendent of Havana Schools.  “The teacher becomes more of a facilitator who guides the inquiry-based learning of the students.”  

Havana School District is striving for a success rate increase in reading, math and science of 30% or higher and 53% increase in writing as a result of this pilot project.  Dr. Twomey indicates that the results can then be used to develop a model that can be globally replicated.  It is further believed that this model will be beneficial in the development of a workforce pipeline through collaborative relationships with higher education institutions like Spoon River College and companies like Caterpillar.

“We believe that this partnership in the Flipping project will allow us to make sustainable progress possible in our communities now and in the future,” stated Twomey.  “We have a rigorous control plan, will maintain continuous data collection, and will use on-going evaluation to achieve our goals.”

For more information about the Flipping the Classroom project, please contact Dr. Twomey at (309) 543-3384 or mtwomey@havana126.net