Spatialosophy™ has been a journey of spatial exploration, which began many years ago, (informally) while I was a student, very sensitive to the spaces around me.
In its formal sense, the Spatialosophy™ journey was made possible through the National After School Matters Fellowship, an incredible opportunity which enabled me to conduct this practitioner research, beginning in 2015.
Based at the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) and at the National Writing Project (NWP), the National After School Matters Fellowship is an intensive professional development opportunity in which out-of- school time professionals from a range of youth-serving organizations engage in a two-year, facilitated inquiry-based experience.
NASM Fellows, seen as agents of education reform, produce published manuscripts, conference presentations, and other resources for the purpose of: bettering their own practice; improving OST program quality; and, enhancing the experiences of youth & practitioners in the OST field.
The Spatialosophy™ journey that began with a National After School Matters Fellowship, continued through study with The Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools, a professional learning community and mentoring program led by experts in the field of social-emotional learning (SEL), school culture and climate (SCC), and character development (CD). The Academy is a collaboration between the College of Saint Elizabeth and Rutgers University, under the direction of Dr. Maurice Elias (Rutgers) and Dr. Patricia Heindel (CSE).
The Academy offers a professional certificate from the College of Saint Elizabeth in School Leadership for Social-Emotional Learning and Character Development. Participants in the certificate program benefit from exclusive access to a professional learning community (PLC) online, which provides a wealth of resources for SEL and SCC professionals, including forums on a variety of topics, access to a resource library, and access to program mentors. The Academy provides a space for educators and practitioners to discuss current trends, explore the latest research, and find ongoing support and mentoring for implementing SEL-centered initiatives in K-12 schools and districts.
In January of 2017, after working for sixteen months with skilled mentors (Donna Black, Victoria Blakeney, and Dr. Scott Taylor), I earned a Certificate in School Leadership for Social-Emotional Learning and Character Development from The Academy. This educational experience added Social-Emotional Learning (SEL), Character Development (CD), and School Culture and Climate (SCC) to the design of a Spatialosophy™ framework to be implemented in school settings and other learning environments (pilots set to begin in the fall of 2018).