Mary Ford presents at “The Habit of Mind Summit”

mary-136Mary Ford, Dean of Education at Granite State College, presented “One IHE’s Plans for Infusing the The Habit of Mind” at The Habit of Mind Summit: “Transforming the Profession’s Use of Research for Student Engagement and Learning” on Tuesday April 15, 2014 at Southern New Hampshire University. The summit was presented by the New Hampshire NEA, NH Department of Education, NH IHE Network, NH Association of Special Education Administrators, and NH Society for Technology in Education.

Evidence-based Research

Mary defined the Habit of Mind (HOM) initiative as building the important habit of using evidence-based research to inform practice and improve learning in real time. In essence, it is research as a habit of mind for improved teaching and learning. She suggested that HOM be taken a step further, using HOM not just to identify evidence-based research, but to identify ‘high impact strategies’ directly linked to improved learning, such as:

  1. Accessing online research databases effectively
  2. Quickly locating practices keyed to students’ learning priorities and needs
  3. Accessing instructional databases and instructional resources
  4. Working closely with school library media specialists.

Five Legs

Mary went on to point out the next steps.She sees this as a five-legged stool:

Leg #1: Provide the tools to access and implement HOM, such as the Educator Toolkit*.

Leg #2: Develop digests specific to student needs. These digests should be developed by experts in the field and our NH colleagues.

Leg #3: Embed/weave the use and implementation of these evidence-based digests, research databases and instructional data bases and resources across the teacher preparation curriculum and programs, complete with rubrics that evaluate HOM practice.

Leg #4: Provide HOM professional development to college faculty, teacher candidates and supervising practitioners.

Leg #5: Give the supervising practitioners in the K-12 school settings the same access to these databases/digests to support the GSC teacher candidate and the students in their classrooms.

Resources and Databases

Mary asked for the help of the audience with the following question: How are we going to make the EBSCO, ISKME databases, digests and resources available to the supervising practitioners in the field? She pointed out that these data bases need to be

  1. accessible and affordable
  2. systemic across teacher prep programs
  3. course and field-base embedded

All of this is very important for:

  • Professional development for GSC’s faculty, candidates and supervising practitioners in the “Habit of Mind”
  • Engagement of GSC’s faculty, candidates and supervising practitioners in a moderated social network assisting them to access – and contribute to – digests on best practices for children with disabilities.

*The Educator Toolkit
Made possible by GovConnection, EBSCO, and CITRIX

The Toolkit consists of the following:

  • Tablet:
    • GSC Branded
    • EBSCO Portal: Unlimited access to EBSCO’s extensive databases of full-text research on evidence-based educational practices (
    • ISKME: OER Resources
    • Virtual Librarian Support: Synchronous and asynchronous support from skilled reference librarians in how to frame effective searches to rapidly locate full-text information on evidence-based keyed to their priorities to improve their professional practice and their students’ services, learning opportunities and results, in collaboration with the American Association of School Librarians and Digital Opportunity Consortium
    • CITRIX: GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar uploaded
    • Curated apps for use with and by children with disabilities, curated by Dr. Robbie Melton, associate vice-chancellor for e-learning at the Tennessee Board of regents
  • SWIVL with Tracking Device
  • Printer
  • Projector
  • Router

To contact Mary Ford you may send an email to: