Classrooms in New Franklin, Mo. got a visit from members of the U.S. Department of Education. Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement Jim Shelton, who wanted a firsthand look at the eMINTS approach to education.
eMINTS (enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies) is a professional development program created by the University of Missouri. The New Franklin School District implemented the eMINTS program about 10 years ago. It promotes inquiry-based learning as well as an increased focus on using technology.
Shelton says he was excited by what he saw in New Franklin.
"Oftentimes in my professional career I encounter adults who don’t know how to organize a group activity to get work done," Shelton says. "You see these fifth graders learning those skills at this stage, and frankly doing a lot better job than a lot of adults do. That tells me that we’re going beyond the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic and teaching kids the skills they’re going to need for the rest of their lives.
Shelton says The New Franklin School District serves as a model, working with other districts that want to implement eMINTS strategies. He hopes to see eMINTS and programs like it grow across the country.