The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy offers educators in Illinois and across the globe a MicroCertification as an IMSA Educator. This MicroCertification qualifies an educator to be trained in and present IMSA Professional Development throughout their area. The MicroCertification is structured in four micro-credentials representing IMSA’s four core competencies. Educators can complete the micro-credentials individually or as part of a structured program. Each micro-credential consists of an introduction, 5 Learning Experiences (LEs) and a portfolio highlighting understanding and application. Educators who complete all four micro-credentials are awarded the MicroCertification as an IMSA Educator. The micro-credentials include:
• INQUIRY-BASED TEACHING – Inquiry-based teaching promotes analytic thinking, knowledge generation and application, and construction of meaning through mindful investigation driven by compelling questions that engage the learner’s curiosity.
• PROBLEM CENTERED LEARNING – Problem-centered learning provides experiences in which learners grapple with complex, meaningful, open-ended problems of our world. Learners provide potential evidence based solutions or responses to these problems.
• COMPETENCY-DRIVEN CURRICULUM – Competency-driven experiences are those which enable students (1) to acquire strong bases of disciplinary content knowledge and skills; (2) to use the ideas, processes, and tools of the disciplines for acquisition and generation of new knowledge; and (3) to apply knowledge when addressing issues and solving real-world problems.
• INTEGRATED STEM – Integrative learning experiences are those which forge meaningful connections of concepts, constructs, and principles within and across academic subjects and real-world situations.
IMSA’s Micro-Certification includes in-person and/or on-line professional development focused on IMSA’s four core competencies. These professional development opportunities are called “Learning Experiences”. Learning Experiences are available to all educators at any grade level and discipline. Learning experiences consist of approximately 3 hours of professional learning which include a research base, pedagogy, and instructional strategies. Each Learning Experience (LE) is identified with a grade level band, content area, and instructional focus so that educators know what they will experience. Each LE also includes an “Apply and Reflect” assignment to promote professional reflection and conversation about their learning.