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School of Education & Social Policy

Leadership Think Tanks

Join a dynamic working group of educators committed to exploring best practices and key issues with a 21st century perspective.

Leadership Think Tanks are learning communities focused on educational innovation and problem solving. They bring together individuals across districts in a variety of leadership positions. Together, we read thoughtfully, learn from expert speakers, share best practices, and develop a collegial working space to delve into critical issues and explore bold perspectives.  

Each Think Tank is co-led by a faculty member in the School of Education & Social Policy and an expert practitioner from within the group. Attendance is limited to 18members to promote discussion. Sessions include outside experts and guest speakers from Merrimack College in addition to member-led sessions around key issues and best practices.

Think Tanks for 2014-2015 invite a broad range of school leaders to participate.

We welcome team and grade level leaders, curriculum coordinators, guidance directors, assistant principals, principals and others who exercise a leadership role in your school.

Sample topics from previous Think Tank sessions:

  • Can Visible Thinking Strengthen the Culture of Learning in our Schools?
  • Who Is Really in Charge of the Accountability Movement?
  • Behavior, Anxiety and Mental Health Issues: How Can We Help Our Students Today?
  • The Maker Movement: 21st Century Evolution or Revolution?
  • Courageous Communication and Difficult Conversations: Functions of School Leadership
  • Getting to No: Building True Collegiality on our Schools
  • The Shift from Knowledge’ Scarcity’ to Knowledge ‘Abundance:’ Implications for Schooling
  • Is Creativity disappearing from our Schools - Just when we need it the Most?
  • Standards – Based Assessment and Reporting for Middle and High School: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Teacher Evaluation: Where are we Now? Where to Next?

Guest speakers during previous Think Tank sessions:

  • Ryan Madigan, McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School
  • Rob Evans, Author and Executive Director of The Human Relations Service
  • Jessica Minahan, Behavioral Analyst and co-author, The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students. Harvard Education Press, 2012
  • Panel of four eighth grade students from the Wood Hill Middle School: Learning and Thriving in a Project-Based Learning Curriculum

Benefits to Educators, Schools, and Districts:

  • Unites individuals within a professional community of practice
  • Enhances educators’ professional development
  • Expands network of resources and professional support

Think Tank members receive:

  • Complimentary breakfast and lunch
  • Free parking


  • 25 PDPs awarded for the full year (2014-2015 Session)
  • Six (6) sessions throughout the 2014-2015 academic year. Each session is 8:30am - 12:00pm.
  • Cost:  $350 for full year (all inclusive: food, materials, supplies and resources)
  • Location: Merrimack College


Phone: (978) 837-5436