Nine Ways to Align Education Policy with the Learning Sciences

We know more than ever about the science of learning and development, but education policy hasn’t kept pace with these advancements. In a new report, iNACOL (Renamed the Aurora Institute) explores the emerging research and offers a set of recommendations to align policy with how students learn best.  Aligning Education Policy with the Science of Read more about Nine Ways to Align Education Policy with the Learning Sciences[…]

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Scientific research on how to teach critical thinking contradicts education trends

Recently for The Hechinger Report, Jill Barshay provided an overview of scientific research that finds that content knowledge is crucial to effective critical thinking. Portions of the piece appear below: Critical thinking is all the rage in education. Schools brag that they teach it on their websites and in open houses to impress parents. Some Read more about Scientific research on how to teach critical thinking contradicts education trends[…]

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Reimagining the Teaching Profession for the 21st Century

In a new issue brief, iNACOL outlines five key opportunities for state policymakers to transform the teaching profession to enable it to support the shift toward student-centered learning models in K-12 education. Modernizing the Teaching Workforce for Learner-Centered, Competency-Based, Equity-Oriented Education: State Policy Recommendations makes five recommendations to leverage the unique role of state policymaking: Read more about Reimagining the Teaching Profession for the 21st Century[…]

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How to Innovate: Options for School Districts

School district leaders know that standardized tests are a narrow view of learning outcomes. Many want to embrace a broader view of career and citizenship readiness, and want to engage young people in active learning to promote these important outcomes-but these changes come with a variety of challenges.   Typical school district dilemmas include: * Read more about How to Innovate: Options for School Districts[…]

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Issue Brief: Preparing Learners for an Uncertain Future

Children graduating from K-12 schools are largely unprepared for workplace challenges, and with the rise of smart machines, workforce readiness gaps are likely to increase. What are promising practices for preparing students for the changing world of work? How can educators help students develop their uniquely human attributes and flexible skills that can be applied Read more about Issue Brief: Preparing Learners for an Uncertain Future[…]

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Preparing All Learners for an Uncertain Future of Work

Recently in Getting Smart, Katherine Prince of Knowledgeworks discussed a new foundation for readiness for work in the 21st century. Excerpts of the piece appear below: From today’s vantage point, we can identify two critical drivers of change shaping the future of readiness for further learning, work and life: the rise of smart machines and Read more about Preparing All Learners for an Uncertain Future of Work[…]

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Mind the Gap: Will All Students Benefit From 21st Century Learning?

In an economy driven by technological innovation and a complex social landscape, schools must invest in instructional approaches that allow students to express more agency over their learning and create space to apply what they learn to solve real-world problems. Based on a two-year study of personalized learning in 39 schools across the country and Read more about Mind the Gap: Will All Students Benefit From 21st Century Learning?[…]

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How People Learn II

Learning is a conversation with the world, from a newborn’s brain lighting up as his mother sings to him, to a teenager choking on a test for fear of fulfilling a stereotype, to elderly people heading off cognitive decline by learning a new language. In an update to its landmark reports on education research, the Read more about How People Learn II[…]

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Learn Next: A Toolbox for Educators to Transform Practice

Every student deserves access to powerful learning experiences – experiences that help them develop agency, grow their skills and expand their curiosities. Many schools are shifting their practices to be more student-centered in hopes of ultimately developing these qualities in students. We know in transformative environments that the learning and facilitation looks very different. This Read more about Learn Next: A Toolbox for Educators to Transform Practice[…]

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Project Management: An Essential Skill for Students

Janice Walton recently wrote a piece for Getting Smart, focused on the need for students to practice and apply Project Management skills in the K-12 classroom. She writes: One of the keys to successfully integrating a project-based learning experience into the classroom is project management. A teacher first must effectively plan for and manage the Read more about Project Management: An Essential Skill for Students[…]

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Career Readiness and Cross-Sector Competencies

A new white paper from America Achieves focuses on the role cross-sector competencies play in career readiness. Getting Real about Career Readiness: A Focus on Cross-Sector Competencies is the first in a series of multi-media white papers from America Achieves Educator Networks on promising education practices for preparing students for the changing world of work. Read more about Career Readiness and Cross-Sector Competencies[…]

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Introducing a Framework for High Quality Project Based Learning

A growing number of educators around the world believe that project based learning (PBL) is an important instructional approach that enables students to master academic skills and content knowledge, develop skills necessary for future success, and build the personal agency needed to tackle life’s and the world’s challenges. Projects are an easy way to engage Read more about Introducing a Framework for High Quality Project Based Learning[…]

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Educators Reach Consensus on What It Takes to Integrate Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

The Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development has released a report from leading educators describing the practices and principles that can make a new vision of learning part of the fabric of schools and classrooms across the nation. The Practice Base for How We Learn outlines promising practices that show how Read more about Educators Reach Consensus on What It Takes to Integrate Social, Emotional, and Academic Development[…]

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Evidence for Student-Centered Learning

For the past 35 years, the prevailing narrative about America’s public education system is that it is “broken.” Reform efforts have failed to find a fix because they fundamentally misunderstand this reality: the system is not broken. It is doing exactly what it was designed to do-educate the masses in a standardized fashion that completely Read more about Evidence for Student-Centered Learning[…]

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The Promise of Performance Assessments

As states, districts, and schools are expanding instruction to include the competencies associated with college, career, and civic readiness, they are also developing ways to measure mastery of these deeper learning and higher-order thinking skills. These measures include performance assessments, such as portfolios, capstone projects, and senior defenses, alongside classroom performance. Meanwhile, more than 900 Read more about The Promise of Performance Assessments[…]

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New Evidence that Students’ Beliefs about their Brains Drive Learning

Responding to the need to look beyond test scores to measure school quality, an increasing number of school districts are striving to incorporate socio-emotional learning measures in their accountability policies. Growth mindset – believing that intelligence and talent can change – is one of these measures. Experimental research has found that developing a growth mindset Read more about New Evidence that Students’ Beliefs about their Brains Drive Learning[…]

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