Charles Chadwell Special Education Institute

Movement & Active Learning for ALL Classrooms (grades k-12)
Workshop with Dr. Katherine McKnight

Saturday, April 21, 2018 • 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Chapman Conference Center, Jacobs Hall, Presbyterian College

The Education Department is pleased to announce the Fourth Annual Charles Chadwell Special Education Institute. You are invited to attend a day-long workshop with Dr. Katherine McKnight. The connections between play, creativity, and learning are essential components for the development of critical thinking. Improv allows all students, including those with disabilities, to use kinesthetic movement and imagination as a method of developing reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Improvisation is an ideal pedagogical strategy for teaching and learning because it has both inherent structure and flexibility. Based on Dr. McKnight’s best-selling The Second City Guide to Improv in the Classroom: Using Improvisation to Teach Skills and Boost Learning, this session will provide ready to use activities that teach vocabulary, content knowledge, and develop literacy skills.

Dr. Katherine McKnight

Dr. Katherine McKnight is a dynamic presenter, dedicated teacher, and award-winning author. In addition to speaking at professional development conferences, she is a regular consultant in schools and classrooms all over the country and in Europe. Administrators and teachers welcome her expertise, witty good humor, and hands-on approach to education.

Katie received her B.A. degree from George Washington University, her M.Ed. from Northeastern Illinois University and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She currently serves as a Distinguished Professor of Research at National Louis University. A passionate student advocate, Katie stays true to her roots in the Chicago Public Schools where she began her career. She is recognized for her in-depth knowledge of changing educational standards and is known for her ability to connect with fellow educators. “Good teaching is good teaching, no matter what standards we’re aiming for!”

She has authored many books that support teaching strategies to engage all learners. Her titles include the best-selling The Teacher’s Big Book of Graphic Organizers, winner of the 2013 Teachers’ Choice Award. She’s also written The Second City Guide to Improv in the Classroom, Teaching Writing in the Inclusive Classroom, and the twin volumes: Common Core Literacy for Math, Science, and Technical Subjects, and Common Core Literacy for ELA, History/Social Studies, and the Humanities: Strategies to Deepen Content Knowledge (Grades 6-12). Dr. McKnight edited and contributed to the 2016 book Addressing the Needs of All Learners in the Era of Changing Standards: Helping Our Most Vulnerable Students Succeed through Teaching Flexibility, Innovation, and Creativity. She is the recipient of numerous teaching awards.

Schedule of Events

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

  • The research
  • Creating classroom unity for learning
  • Ready the mind for learning
  • Activities to promote authentic learning

12:50 p.m. – 3 p.m.

  • More activities to promote authentic learning
  • Assessing active learning
  • Making room for movement in your classroom and schedule
  • Informal question & answer session with Dr. McKnight


Registration is free and includes continental breakfast and deli buffet lunch. Seating is limited to the first 60 participants.

About the Charles Chadwell Endowment for Special Education

This event is made possible by the Charles Chadwell Endowment for Special Education. The endowment was established in 1984 by Francis E. Cothran and his wife Jean Syminton Cothran in recognition of Dr. Charles Chadwell’s service as superintendent of the Whitten Center in Clinton. Billy Cothran, Mr. and Mrs. Cothran’s only son, was a resident of the Whitten Center. The endowment is designed to be used for scholarship awards for students who plan to continue their education in the field of special education, and is also in place to “provide seminars, lectures, or workshops led by recognized authorities in fields related to Special Education, which will promote a better understanding of the circumstances” faced by individuals with disabilities and their families.