Deeper Learning Digest: Is School Innovation Lost in the Education Echo Chamber?
September 06, 2019 03:43 pm
If a school is making a difference for students through new and innovative practices and word gets lost in the education echo chamber, how can other schools and students benefit?
Today’s digest highlights a new project by the Christensen Institute to uncover under-the-radar schools that are transforming the learning process and driving better outcomes for students, a California district that is transforming schools with lessons from brain science, strategies to refresh school culture, and an upcoming conference on the future of K-12 education.
Uncovering Schools That Are Innovating
“All across the country, schools of all stripes are developing nontraditional approaches to teaching and learning to better serve students,” writes Chelsea Waite, research fellow at the Christensen Institute, in EdSurge. This may include wraparound social and health services, incorporating social and emotional learning, or credit earning opportunities outside of the classroom. But while these approaches that sound familiar to you, the places they are happening may not.
That’s because “too much of the diversity of school innovation gets lost in the education echo chamber,” explains Waite. Only a limited number of schools and models are highlighted as exemplars. The Christensen Institute is working to change that through a project called the “Canopy.” Through crowdsourcing and nomination processes, the Canopy has surfaced a number of under-the-radar schools that are innovating for better student outcomes.
Transforming Schools with Lessons from Brain Science
Speaking of innovative schools, ABC Unified School District in California has experienced profound changes in student engagement as a result of district’s efforts to align its strategic vision with research on how students learn and develop.
In this upcoming All4Ed webinar, Dr. Mary Sieu, the superintendent of ABC Unified, will describe how research-based changes in the district’s policies and practices have impacted schools and student learning. She will also share ideas for how the science of adolescent learning can be used to support systems-level change in every school and district, no matter its size, location, or composition.
New School Year, New School Culture
We’ve all heard the “new year, new me,” mantra surrounding New Years resolutions, so why not apply the same logic to the school year?
When school staff and students step into the building for the first time at the beginning of the new school year, an opportunity is presented to hit refresh on school culture. School leaders can take concrete actions to address issues lingering from the prior year and build upon positive components of the school environment. This blog post from Concordia University-Portland offers steps and strategies to reflect and respond to a school’s cultural needs.
UPCOMING: iNACOL Symposium on Future of K-12 Education
Don’t miss the upcoming iNACOL Symposium, “Shining a Light on the Future of Learning.” The conference will bring together administrators, educators, and policymakers for highly interactive sessions focused on personalized, competency-based learning. Attendees will have access to expertise, analysis, and uncover trends in these areas, and with more than 200 sessions can tailor their experience to meet unique professional learning needs.
Deeper Learning in Action
Twitter can be a great place to see what’s happening to promote deeper learning outcomes in (and out!) of classrooms across the country. Here are a few examples. Be sure to follow @DeeperLearning and check out #DeeperLearning for more!
Redid the bulletin board in the staff lounge in order to celebrate and collaborate as #TeamSP. When my @SanPasqualHS peeps show up next week I hope they feel inspired to share their awesomeness for the purpose of #deeperlearning pic.twitter.com/L5riCGVmPR— Becky McKinney (@NGSSMadeMeDoIt) August 30, 2019
#students practiced the #ScientificMethod last week. As you can see, we are ready for a fantastic year! #getinthegame #SIS #Science #DeeperLearning #studentengagement #learnerexperience #scichat #ElemEchool #PublicSchools #AlwaysLearning #GrowthMindset pic.twitter.com/STqAnZG7Md— Alyssa Brownback (@mrsbrownback) September 3, 2019
The ‘Deeper Learning Digest’ is a bi-weekly roundup of articles, blog posts, and other content around deeper learning. Be sure to follow @deeperlearning on Twitter, @deeper.learning on Instagram, and like Deeper Learning on Facebook to stay up to date on all deeper learning news.
Featured Photo By Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action.