2021 Summer Institute at Mercersburg Academy Announced

Thursday, May 6, 2021
Grant Lichtman

On June 14-15, this year's Summer Institute at Mercersburg Academy will bring educators together in an all-virtual conference with leading thinkers about the future of education. Unlike in previous years, this event is designed for Mercersburg's broader constituencies as well, including faculty, staff, parents, and alumni. 

The two-day institute will include keynotes, panels, interactive sessions, and workshops delivered or facilitated by guest presenters. 

“It seems like most major periodicals have written about how schools can or must change. This conference will hopefully make that abstract conversation concrete, as some of the most influential voices for the transformation of schools will meet and interact with our community. So many of our questions will be answered,  and much of what seems elusive mysterious will be given form,” said John David Bennett P ’12, ’19, ’24, dean of curricular innovation at Mercersburg Academy.

This year’s featured speakers include Grant Lichtman, an amiable provocateur who has helped nearly 200 schools reimagine how they prepare their students for a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world. His most recent book, Thrive: How Schools Will Win the Education Revolution, is a guide for anyone wondering why schools need to innovate and a map for how to inspire and create change. 

Dr. Pooja Agarwal, is a cognitive scientist who has conducted research on how students learn since 2005; she teaches psychological science to exceptional undergraduate musicians as an assistant professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Agarwal is the founder of RetrievalPractice.org, a hub of research, resources, and teaching strategies based on the science of learning. Her research has been published in leading journals; highlighted by The New York Times, NPR, Scientific American, and Education Week; and recognized by the National Science Foundation.

Another featured guest of the Institute is the founder of The Brightworks School in San Francisco, Gever Tulley, whose school gives kids real problems to solve and the tools and agency to find solutions. Whether its kids design and building a roller coaster or construct and launch a weather balloon from scratch, Tulley’s school harnesses the best from all disciplines—from the aesthetic power of the arts to the storytelling of the humanities or the profound power of math “as a language that describes reality.”

This year’s event is free for participants. Registration is now open. If you’re an educator or are curious about the future of education and the voices influencing the education sector, we invite you to join us in June. Learn more about this year’s Institute on our website. (Please note that Tuesday’s sessions from 11 a.m. through the duration are limited to Mercersburg faculty only.)

Gever Tulley
Dr. Pooja Agarwal