SCALE, a research and development center at Stanford University, has been awarded a grant by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation to create and pilot pre-service teacher resources based on the principles of deeper learning and equity-minded, evidence-driven approaches to learner-centered practice.
These interactive resources will align online modules with applied activities that can be flexibly infused by educator preparation programs (EPPs) into existing coursework. By building capacity to foster critically important deeper learning competencies such as developing an academic mindset, learning how to learn, effectively communicating and collaborating, and thinking critically to solve complex problems at the pre-service level, new teachers will be better equipped to engage P-12 students in their learning from the start of their careers. Research about the implementation and impact of the pilot across varied EPPs will inform the development of future open education resources and support capacity-building around deeper learning, based on evidence from learning science.
In 2020-21, SCALE will work collaboratively with a national network of leaders in teacher preparation to design and try out a set of deeper-learning oriented modules and accompanying resources to support faculty/instructor implementation. The modules will address how teachers can create equitable conditions for deeper learning, support the development of social-emotional competencies, and effectively use performance assessments. The selected pilot sites include: California State University, Sacramento; California State University, Northridge; Elon University; James Madison University; Lehman College, City University of New York; NC State University; San Diego State; Spelman College; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Urban Teachers/Johns Hopkins University.
Mitchell Stevens, Associate Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and Raymond L. Pecheone, Professor of Practice and Executive Director of SCALE, are the co-principal investigators for the project, which will incorporate a comparative analysis of implementation among the ten pilot sites. According to Dr. Pecheone, ”SCALE believes that shifting pervasive inequities and addressing preparation gaps within the workforce requires focused attention on more strategically training beginning teachers, who will soon dominate the education landscape, particularly within traditionally under-resourced schools”.
“The most enduring improvements in pedagogy are those that are developed by teachers, of teachers,” says Stevens. “Our goal with this project is to leverage the promise of that insight for social-emotional learning.” Other contributing partners include the d.School at Stanford and experts in deeper learning, learner-centered teaching, and learning science from the Innokas Network/University of Helsinki, the Learning Policy Institute, and KnowledgeWorks.
SCALE’s leadership of this innovative collaboration provides an opportunity to learn how targeted resources can be effectively infused within educator preparation programs, so pre-
service teachers develop a mindset towards deeper learning that can be applied to their own classroom contexts. Each module will include:
● Experiential, applied activities that give pre-service teachers direct experience with deeper learning and the learning sciences
● Opportunities for participants to build from foundational frameworks for deeper learning and learner-centered teaching in order to make authentic connections to P-12 practice
● Opportunities for participants to analyze and reflect on their development as educators through the lens of deeper learning, as they become adaptive experts who can flexibly problem-solve and build from their students’ assets in order to engage them in the classroom
As pre-service candidates gear up to transition into the classroom, kickstarting their ability to foster deeper learning will make them a catalyst for transferring equitable, learner-centered practices from preparation pathways into the P-12 arena.
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