Call (973) 847-9049 with any questions about 2020.

We are building a new and even more exciting Best Teachers Summer Institute for 2020 with optional features and even more Active Learning as participants build their own Super Courses and explore the ideas of a Natural Critical Learning Environment and the Pedagogy of Getting Out.   Place and Date: New York City area (Wilshire Grand Hotel, West Orange, NJ).  June 15-18, 2020.

A three-and-a-half-day (expanded from previous years) international summer institute based on Ken Bain's award-winning and best selling book What the Best College Teachers Do* (Harvard University Press, 2004) and James Lang's highly lauded instant classic Small Teaching (Jossey-Bass, 2016).  This year's program will also feature Eric Mazur, Harvard Physics Professor who won the prestigious Minerva Prize for his contributions to teaching and learning; Mindy Maris, a brilliant new contributor to the international dialogue on teaching and learning; and ideas from Ken Bain's book What the Best College Students Do* (Harvard University Press, 2012) and his forthcoming Super Courses (Princeton University Press, 2020). The program will model the ‘flipped classroom,’ approach with pre-institute reading opportunities using Perusall (developed at Harvard as“world's only truly social e-reader”).

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*Winners of the Virginia and Warren Stone Prize for Outstanding Books on Education and Society (2004, 2012)

Over the last twenty-two years, our highly interactive, lively, and thought-provoking international Summer Institute has become the prime location for faculty members from around the world who wish to spark the highest levels of deep and inclusive student learning in the sciences, social science, humanities, arts, law, medicine, business, engineering and other fields.  This year we are integrating new research-based ideas on fostering deep and inclusive learning.

Our Venue and Program (and making the whole area our laboratory and classroom)

We’ve chosen the Wilshire Grand Hotel because it isn’t in Time Square, and it offers us expansive and luxurious meeting space at reduced cost and a retreat-like environment. People can concentrate on building a new kind of Super Course, or turning an existing one into a Natural Critical Learning Environment.

At the same time, we have arranged for shuttles and times to take us into the surrounding area, including South Mountain Park, Frederick Law Olmsted’s 19th century marvel; Eagle Rock, site of Thomas A. Edison’s 1920’s secret laboratory (now a restaurant w/great views), spectacular views of NY city, and 9/11 memorial; and, yes, even (via train) an optional trip into the Big Apple. All of the local trips are also optional. Your tuition will cover all shuttle services from the hotel. Those trips will give Best Teachers Institute participants a chance to try the Pedagogy of Getting Out, active learning on a grand scale, while exchanging ideas with colleagues from around the world.

Tentative Schedule (all activities are subject to change):

Monday, June 15, 2020:
6:00 PM Cash Bar and Informal Discussions and Possible Video Viewings and Discussions. Newly Opened and Renovated Grill 350 (Optional)

Tuesday, June 16, 2020:
Morning: Continental Breakfast for participants staying in the Wilshire Grand Hotel
9:00 AM: First Formal Session and Workshops of 2020 Perfect Vision Best Teachers Institute.
Noon: Buffet Lunch and Discussions
5:00 PM: Optional Shuttle Trip to bucolic South Mountain Lake (3 miles from hotel), and first exploration of Pedagogy of Getting Out.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020:
Morning: Continental Breakfast for participants staying in the Wilshire Grand Hotel
9:00 AM. Best Teachers Institute
Noon: Buffet Lunch and Discussions
5:00 PM: Optional Trips to Area, including Eagle Rock (fantastic views of Manhattan), the 9/11 Memorial, and Montclair. We will continue to explore the Pedagogy of Getting Out.

Thursday, June 18, 2020: (notice earlier start time)
Morning: Continental Breakfast for participants staying in the Wilshire Grand Hotel
8:30 AM. Best Teachers Institute
12:00 Optional Trip to Manhattan via electric train from historic South Orange Village Station and participation in a “CityTerm” Style Scavenger Hunt as a way to help students learn research skills. Eating Options: Box Lunch purchased from hotel; eat after arriving in Manhattan, including quick places near Penn Station. Must sign up for optional Box Lunch. Instructions provided with registration. Train will arrive in Manhattan at approx. 1:27 PM
8:00 PM. Optional or Online Debriefing Session and Close of Institute

All sessions are highly interactive.

South Mountain Reservation Lake: Approximately 3 miles by shuttle from hotel. Located in 19th century 2500 acre reservation park designed by Frederick Olmsted who also designed Central Park in Manhattan. Eating options McLoone’s Boathouse. Shuttle to this location on Tuesday (optional) with exploration of Pedagogy of Getting Out. Must register for this event after registration for Institute completed. Instructions will be emailed.

South Mountain Reservation Lake: Approximately 3 miles by shuttle from hotel. Located in 19th century 2500 acre reservation park designed by Frederick Olmsted who also designed Central Park in Manhattan. Eating options McLoone’s Boathouse. Shuttle to this location on Tuesday (optional) with exploration of Pedagogy of Getting Out. Must register for this event after registration for Institute completed. Instructions will be emailed.

Eagle Rock Reservation, site of 911 Memorials and spectacular view of Manhattan (something Manhattan will never have). Also site of Edison’s secret laboratory (now a restaurant) Located 2 miles from hotel. Shuttle to Eagle Rock on Wednesday (option) with exploration of Pedagogy of Getting Out. Must register for this event after registration for Institute completed. Instructions will be emailed. Shuttle will then go on to Montclair. Eating options in Montclair.

Eagle Rock Reservation, site of 911 Memorials and spectacular view of Manhattan (something Manhattan will never have). Also site of Edison’s secret laboratory (now a restaurant) Located 2 miles from hotel. Shuttle to Eagle Rock on Wednesday (option) with exploration of Pedagogy of Getting Out. Must register for this event after registration for Institute completed. Instructions will be emailed. Shuttle will then go on to Montclair. Eating options in Montclair.

On Thursday at noon, a shuttle can take you to historic Village of South Orange electric train station (if you wish), from which you can go into Midtown Manhattan. Continued exploration of the Pedagogy of Getting Out via a scavenger hunt in New York City that teaches students research reasoning skills. You can use it in any place and city. One of the earliest electric trains in the world came into South Orange in early 1930’s with Thomas Edison at the controls. The Village was founded in 1690

On Thursday at noon, a shuttle can take you to historic Village of South Orange electric train station (if you wish), from which you can go into Midtown Manhattan. Continued exploration of the Pedagogy of Getting Out via a scavenger hunt in New York City that teaches students research reasoning skills. You can use it in any place and city. One of the earliest electric trains in the world came into South Orange in early 1930’s with Thomas Edison at the controls. The Village was founded in 1690

Historic Village of South Orange train station at dusk. We’ll arrive there around 12:30 PM and take the train to Midtown in Manhattan.

Historic Village of South Orange train station at dusk. We’ll arrive there around 12:30 PM and take the train to Midtown in Manhattan.

The iconic shots of Manhattan are all from New Jersey, including this one taken from Hamilton Park where Aaron Burr had his infamous duel with Alexander Hamilton. You’re looking directly into mid-town where the train from South Orange will arrive. That’s King Kong climbing the Empire State Building in the center of the picture (you have to use your imagination)

The iconic shots of Manhattan are all from New Jersey, including this one taken from Hamilton Park where Aaron Burr had his infamous duel with Alexander Hamilton. You’re looking directly into mid-town where the train from South Orange will arrive. That’s King Kong climbing the Empire State Building in the center of the picture (you have to use your imagination)

Participants will create their own Super Course using elements of Natural Critical Learning Environments.   The Summer Institute will emphasize both improving learning environments to foster Deep Learning and developing ways to share insights with colleagues back home. 


"I want circular tables in my classroom so I can have a teaching set-up like they do at #BestTeachers18"

Stephanie Lancaster, 2017 Alum of BestTeachers17

Faculty for the Institute
Ken Bain, Best Teachers Institute
James Lang, Assumption College
Mindy Maris, National Institute of Health and Johns Hopkins University
Eric Mazur, Harvard University

Enrollment Limited. Apply Early.

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My participation in the Best Teachers Institute remains one of the most transformative learning experiences in my professional career.
— Sandra Mayo, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Seattle Pacific University
What was it that made those 3 days so completely absorbing, rich, and effective? Because of the masterful way in which you modeled all of the essential ingredients for deep learning.
— Marcia Eames-Sheavly, Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellow, Cornell University

Hotel & Registration Information

All sessions will be held at the world-class conference center at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange, NJ.  To receive The Wilshire Grand Hotel group rate of $172 (single or double, per day, plus taxes), call (973)-731-7007 and ask for the Best Teachers Institute group rate. Reservations must be made by May 10, 2020, to receive the group rate. Participants are responsible for making their own hotel arrangements and reservations.  Reservations at the hotel should be made as early as possible because space is limited.

The Wilshire Grand Hotel is a luxury hotel located 12 miles west of Manhattan in a beautiful suburban area of West Orange, NJ. A lively local restaurant and theater scene complements the New York theaters, concerts, shopping, restaurants, and museums, which are easily accessible by train and taxi. Program includes an optional Thursday afternoon and evening trip into New York City and exploration of Pedagogy of Getting Out. Institute will provides shuttles to historic South Orange train station. Each participate is responsible for evening meals, train tickets into NYC, and other expenses in the city.

Questions?  Call (973) 847-9049

The 2020 Perfect Vision Summer Institute registration fee covers tuition, all NJ sessions, course materials, food and beverage breaks, some meals, and a signed copy of a book by Ken Bain or James Lang. Registration fee also covers costs of shuttles to optional activities (South Mountain Reservation, Eagle Rock, Montclair, and Village of South Orange Train Station). Independent of the tuition, each person is responsible for their own evening meals each day, lunch on Thursday, and optional round-trip train tickets between South Orange and Manhattan, and any other optional activities in New York or New Jersey, such as shows, subways, taxis, etc.

Early Early Bird Special (applications received by December 1, 2019)
$734 per person. $699/person for groups of 3 or more.

Early Bird Special (applications received by March 1, 2020)
$799 per person.  $774/person for groups of 3 or more.

Normal Registration Fee (applications received after March 1, 2020)
$874 per person. $839/person for groups of 3 or more.

Twitter photos from #BestTeachers2017

John Warner‏ @biblioracle "Something I hope to do someday. Follow @LangOnCourse and #BestTeachers17 for what should be insightful stuff on teaching in higher ed."

Hoda Mostafa‏ @hodamost "Starting off with critical questions inspiring mass reflection in a hall FULL of college teachers @KenBain1 "

Stephanie Lancaster‏ @TheOutLoudOT "I feel like my head and my heart are fuller in the aftermath of the #BestTeachers17 Institute. Thanks, @KenBain1 @LangOnCourse and team!"

Irina Ellison‏ @DrIrinaEllison "Love learning w colleagues @mercycollege and beyond! #BestTeachers17"

Beth Whitaker‏ @BethWhitaker2"Proud alumni of this event! Glad there is a hashtag this time:)"

Full registration payment must accompany application. Notification of acceptance will be mailed no later than early May 2020. Cancellations made prior to May 10, 2019 are subject to a ten percent fee; cancellations made thereafter are subject to the total charge.

Tuition may be submitted in one of three ways:

  • Personal or Institutional Check (check made out to and mailed to Best Teachers LLC, 71 South Orange Avenue #297, South Orange, NJ 07079). For questions, please call (973) 847-9049 or email: marshafayebain@gmail.com

  • Institutional Purchase Order (made out to and mailed to Best Teachers LLC, 71 South Orange Avenue #297, South Orange NJ 07079)

  • Personal or Institutional credit card (through Paypal).

Questions?  Call (973) 847-9049


Register for the 2020 Summer Institute

 

To apply, click on "To Apply" and an application form will pop up. To submit your tuition payment using a credit card, click on the "Pay Now" button.  This will take you to a secure Paypal site where you can submit your payment information.  For all credit card payments, please add a $20 service fee to the appropriate tuition for each application.   Be sure to submit the proper tuition payment, based on the date of your application and the number of people in your group plus the service fee for each person paying with a credit card.  See tuition chart elsewhere on this page. 

You can alternatively submit your application online and then send an individual or institutional check or purchase order to Best Teachers Institute, 71 South Orange Avenue #297, South Orange NJ 07079).

Questions?  Call (973) 847-9049

We have redesigned the institute for 2020 to make it more interactive than ever before and to incorporate the Pedagogy of Getting Out. We have also reduced the number of people admitted in order to give more individual assistance.


Here is short video from the 2011 Summer Institute.