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Education

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Education
Date: 
Monday, October 24, 2016
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Application and Fee Apply.

This course is offered through Worldview Stanford. Worldview Stanford is an innovative Stanford University initiative that creates interdisciplinary learning experiences for professionals to prepare them for the strategic challenges ahead.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

What's driving big data? We increasingly live our social, economic, and intellectual lives in the digital realm, enabled by new tools and technologies. These activities generate massive data sets, which in turn refine the tools. How will this co-evolution of technology and data reshape society more broadly?

Creating new knowledge and value: Big data changes what can be known about the world, transforming science, industries, and culture in the process. It reveals solutions to social problems and allows products and services to be even more targeted. Where will big data create the greatest sources of new understanding and new value?

Shifting power, security, and privacy: The promise of big data is accompanied by perils—in terms of control, privacy, security, reputation, and social and economic disruption. How will we manage these tradeoffs individually and in business, government, and civil society?

  • Synthesize expert opinions from researchers and Silicon Valley innovators to understand big data's opportunities and challenges. Balance the tradeoffs between individual privacy and security and social value.
  • Apply strategies for leveraging the potential of big data while managing potential vulnerabilities, both personally and organizationally.

FEATURED EXPERTS

Learn from a variety of sources and Stanford experts, including:

Lucy Bernholz, philanthropy, technology, and policy scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society

Sharad Goel, computational scientist studying politics, media, and social networks

Jennifer Granick, attorney and director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society

Michal Kosinsk, psychologist and computational scientist studying online and organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business

Margaret Levi, political scientist specializing in governance, trust, and legitimacy

John Mitchell, computer scientist, cybersecurity expert, and Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning

 

Big Data

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Date: 
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 to Saturday, December 31, 2016
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COURSE OVERVIEW

Explore the new research ideas on mathematics learning and student mindsets that can transform students' experiences with math. Whether you are a teacher preparing to implement the new Common Core State Standards, a parent wanting to give your children the best math start in life, an administrator wanting to know ways to encourage math teachers or another helper of math learners, this course will help you. The sessions are all interactive and include various thinking tasks to promote active engagement - such as reflecting on videos, designing lessons, and discussing ideas with peers.

You Will Learn

  • New pedagogical strategies
  • An understanding of high quality math tasks
  • Questions to promote understanding
  • Messages to give students
  • Inspirational messages from educational thought-leaders

WHO SHOULD ENROLL?

Teachers of math (K-12) or other helpers of students, such as parents. An accompanying course for students is also available here.

COURSE STRUCTURE

The course comprises 8 sessions, each with videos and activities that require approximately 1.5 to 3 hours to complete.

What is the course pace?
The course will be self-paced, you can start and end the course at any time in the months it is open.

TUITION

The course is $125 for individuals who self-register using this website. No other materials or textbooks need to be purchased.

Group registration is available by sending a list of participants' names and email addresses to stanford-educ@stanford.edu. Groups are eligible for discounted tuition based on the number of participants, as outlined below:

  • 5-29 participants: $99 each
  • 30-499 participants: $80 each
  • 500 or more participants: $50 each

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT HOURS

In the first run of the course many school districts in the US gave 16 professional development hours to the teachers who took the course – which means finishing the course and completing most of the assignments. Stanford University makes no representations that participation in the course, including participation leading to a record of completion, will be accepted by any school district or other entity as evidence of professional development.

Participants are solely responsible for determining whether participation in the course, including obtaining a record of completion, will be accepted by a school district, or any other entity, as evidence of professional development coursework.

QUESTIONS?

Please contact 
stanford-educ@stanford.edu
 or call 650-263-4144

Instructor(s): 
Jo Boaler
How to Learn Math for Teachers

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Date: 
Monday, April 11, 2016 to Tuesday, May 31, 2016
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The Course

Given their emphasis on complex and sophisticated disciplinary skills and understandings, the Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and the C3 Framework for State Social Studies Standards require ways of assessing that go beyond routine multiple-choice tests. Whether students are learning to select, use, and explain evidence to support a claim or to analyze data to evaluate a hypothesis, tests that require that students only bubble in a scantron are inadequate to measure (or support) students' learning and growth. Performance assessments are more suited to this task. While performance assessments vary along multiple dimensions, including duration and focus, they all demand that students use and apply critical skills and knowledge to demonstrate understanding.

This seven week course, produced by Katie Wilczak and Daisy Martin, will focus on building educators' capacity to use and develop curriculum-embedded performance assessments that fit local contexts. Course activities include reviewing sample performance tasks and developing a performance task that is aligned with a specific curricular unit and performance outcomes. We will use a learning-centered approach where assessments are not only about measuring learning, but are also events forlearning.

This MOOC is designed for grade 6-12 teachers working in the core disciplines of mathematics, language arts, history/social studies, and science. We also welcome other educators and policymakers. Participants will work collaboratively with other educators in their discipline to accomplish course learning goals and assignments.

The three main objectives of this course are for participants to:

  • Understand and identify features of high quality performance assessments;
  • Develop a grade-level, course-specific, practical, performance task that is aligned with (and embedded within) a curricular unit of study;
  • Contribute to building an online community of educators focused on using performance-based assessments to identify and develop students' abilities.

More Information

This seven-week course will include video presentations, required readings, homework activities, and peer review. For each of the first five sessions, students can expect to spend a total of 2-4 hours weekly watching videos, reading, completing assignments, and collaborating with peers. In the sixth and seventh week, students will do peer reviews of their colleagues' work and turn in their final assignments.

We encourage, and will support collaborative teams of educators in the course. Students can join the class with an existing team, or will create and join teams once the class has started.

Upon successful completion of the required assignments, students will earn a "Statement of Accomplishment" from NovoEd.

An outline of course sessions will be available here by mid-March.

The Instructors

Daisy Martin

Director of History/Social Studies Learning at SCALE

Daisy Martin's professional work focuses on the teaching and learning of historical thinking and literacy. She has co-created several digital projects that make research-based, high quality teaching resources freely available, and has worked with teachers nationwide on designing and using curricula and performance-based assessments. Daisy is a co-founder of the Stanford History Education Group and co-led teachinghistory.org. Her current projects include researching challenges and successes faced by educators in implementing coherent performance assessment systems, and working with history teachers in multiple states to design, implement, and learn from curriculum embedded performance assessments. A former history and civics teacher, Daisy holds a doctorate from Stanford University and a BA in history/philosophy from the University of Michigan.

SCALE Content Team

The SCALE Content Team for this course share extensive experience with all aspects of developing, implementing, and using performance assessments to promote deeper learning. Susan Schultz, Nicole Renner, Jack Dieckmann, and Kari Kokka will provide instruction on their respective areas of expertise: Science, English/Language Arts, and Mathematics.

Ruth Chung Wei

Director of Assessment Research and Development at SCALE

Ruth Chung Wei is currently Director of Assessment Research and Development at Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE), where she leads the design and research on performance-based assessments used in K-12 schools and in teacher education programs. Her current research is focused on the potential of performance assessments to serve as measures of student learning and growth, and the effectiveness of tools and protocols for improving the quality of teacher-designed performance assessments. A former secondary school teacher in the New York City public schools, Ruth Chung Wei completed her doctorate in education at Stanford University.

 

Designing for Deeper Learning

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Date: 
Monday, March 28, 2016 to Friday, June 3, 2016
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COURSE DESCRIPTION

This online writing course is geared toward advanced non-native speakers of English who have significant experience with the language. It will focus on helping participants understand and practice the types of writing needed for most professions, from more formal texts such as proposals and project reports to more informal but still essential communications such as letters and emails. Emphasis will be placed on vocabulary choice, sentence structure, and paragraph organization. Coursework will include collaborative vocabulary exercises, sentence-level problem sets, short- and long-passage editing, as well as longer-document homework assignments chosen by the student. Participants will receive instructor and peer feedback throughout the course. 

Instructor

Kenneth Romeo

Lecturer, English for Foreign Students, Stanford Language Center

Kenneth Romeo specializes in listening, vocabulary, and writing courses for foreign students from beginning to advanced levels. He received a PhD in education from Stanford, specializing in language instruction and second-language acquisition.

Textbooks for this course

(Required) Michael Swan, Practical English Usage, 3rd Edition (iOS or Android app is also acceptable) (ISBN 978-0194420983)

DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)

Fee applies.

English Continuing Studies Course

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Important Notice

Course postponed. 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Course

Course description

English as a New Language (ENL); English Language Development (a.k.a. English as a Second Language (ESL); Designated ESL; Stand-Alone ESL/ENL; or, Focused Language Study) takes a variety of forms in present-day schools. In many schools, teachers teach ENL for a set amount of time (e.g., 30 minutes) a day. Other ENL teachers have multiple classes each day. In many cases, teachers think that they need to focus solely on grammar and vocabulary. However, emphasizing grammar and vocabulary is not the most effective for lasting and engaging language learning. Language was created to get things done, to communicate – and this is where this MOOC starts. It focuses on how to design and teach activities that are saturated with communication, and where needed, strategically develop grammar and vocabulary to support communication.

This course is in response to the call made by the New York State Education Department's Blueprint for English Language Learner (ELL) Success, which views all teachers as teachers of ELLs and asks educators to work across content areas to support ELLs to meet the demands of the Common Core Learning Standards.

Each session presents the focal area to work on for the following month (e.g., listening and watching, reading and viewing, writing/multimedia output, speaking, writing, and conversation), along with model activities and lessons that emphasize the focus, analyses of the models and non-models, lessons to be strengthened by participants, and a sample "expert" modifications of lessons. Whenever possible, we include samples of activities from two levels: Entering and Transitioning.

Course organization

Session 1 – Course Overview & Communication-Focused Listening & Watching 
Session 2 – Communication-Focused Reading & Viewing 
Session 3 – Communication-Focused Speaking 
Session 4 – Communication-Focused Writing 
Session 5 – Communication-Focused Conversations

More Information

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much does the course cost?

The course is offered free of charge.

2. Are any materials or textbooks needed for this course?

You will be asked to complete readings as part of the course, but all required readings will be available for free via the course website. Several of the optional readings will also be free to participants and available online. To access additional optional readings online, participants may need to pay a small fee for copyright royalties to authors and publishers. Details about how to access these optional readings will be available via the course website.

3. How do I show my school that I completed this course?

Every participant who completes the course requirements will receive a free statement of accomplishment signed by the instructors. As to whether this free statement of accomplishment may be used for professional development units in your specific context, you would need to check with your employer. Specific requirements for receiving a statement of accomplishment will be available when the course begins.

4. Do I have to be a teacher to take this course? Who else might be participating in this course?

You do not have to be a teacher to take this course. The course may also be valuable to ELL coaches, teacher educators, and site and district administrators, among others. In order to fully participate in the course, however, you do need to have access to a classroom in which you can obtain student language samples and implement lessons (or collaborate with classroom teachers to obtain student language samples and implement lessons). This is because several of the course assignments require submitting language samples - either samples of student writing or brief transcriptions of students' oral language - and reflecting on lessons.

5. Are there any tests or assignments?

The course will be organized into five sessions. Within each session, you will have one assignment to complete. In general, the course follows a cycle of inquiry approach in which you gather data about student language (specifically, samples of language students used when constructing a claim supported by evidence) implement a lesson based on your insights about student language, reflect on that lesson, and repeat the cycle again. In addition, you will provide feedback to your peers about their work.

6. Is the course self-paced? Can I work ahead?

Some aspects of the course, such as readings and lecture videos, you can complete at your own pace. Within each of the five course sessions you can largely work at your own pace, but you cannot work ahead on future sessions. Because several assignments center around providing feedback to peers and collaboratively creating a lesson plan with your team, you will need to coordinate some aspects of your work with your teammates.

7. How long should I plan on spending in the course and on coursework each week?

The course will be organized into five sessions, each spanning approximately three weeks. We anticipate that each session will take approximately 7-8 hours to complete, spread out over the approximately three week time span.

The Instructors

Jeff Zwiers

Senior Researcher in the Stanford Graduate School of Education

Jeff Zwiers is a senior researcher at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and director of professional development for the Understanding Language Initiative, a research and professional learning project focused on improving the education of academic English learners. He has consulted for national and international teacher development projects and has published articles and books on literacy, cognition, discourse, and academic language. His current research focuses on improving professional learning models and developing classroom instruction that fosters high-quality oral language and constructive conversations across disciplines.

Elsa Billings

Consultant at Understanding Language Initiative, Stanford Univeristy

Elsa Billings is a consultant for the Understanding Language Initiative.Elsa holds a Ph.D. and two M.A.'s from Stanford University.Her work as an educator and researcher seeks to address one of the nation's most pressing issues; informing and improving educational access and opportunities for linguistically and culturally diverse students.Elsa has extensive experience and expertise in teaching, curriculum development, professional development of teachers and coaches, and working with schools to improve instructional practices for English language learners (ELLs).Elsa has published numerous book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals. Her corpus of work includes investigations of the pedagogical practices in serving ELLs in the classroom, and the ways that technological innovations can support teaching and learning. Elsa's current research agenda seeks to extend this work by more closely examining the professional development (PD) provided teachers around the new Common Core…More »

Sara Rutherford-Quach

Lecturer in the Stanford Graduate School of Education

Sara Rutherford-Quach is the Director of Academic Programs & Research for Understanding Language and a Lecturer in the Stanford Graduate School of Education. A former bilingual elementary teacher, Sara has more than 13 years of experience working with linguistically diverse students and their teachers and has conducted extensive research on instructional practices for English learners. Sara was previously awarded a National Academy of Education Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for her work on the role of silence and speech in an elementary classroom serving language-minority students. Her areas of interest include classroom discourse and interaction analysis; language, culture, and instruction in multilingual and multicultural educational environments; institutional, policy and curricular change; and educational equity.

Steven Weiss

Project Manager, Stanford ELL Leadership Network

Steven Weiss is a Senior Research Associate at Stanford's Understanding Language/SCALE and the Project Manager for the Stanford ELL Leadership Network, a collaboration between seven small to medium sized school districts in Northern California focused on developing leadership capacity around English Language Learners. Prior to joining Understanding Language, he worked at the Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL) program at WestEd, where he was a professional developer and instructional coach for secondary teachers and administrators in urban school districts such as New York City, Austin, San Diego and San Jose. He has also worked as a K-8 school administrator, a bilingual/ESL resource teacher, and a high school Spanish/History/ESL teacher. Steven is bilingual in Spanish. He holds an M.Ed. from U.C.L.A., an M.A. in Educational Administration from San Francisco State University, and an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College.

 

Using Communication

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Date: 
Thursday, February 18, 2016 to Tuesday, May 31, 2016
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The Course

The Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards emphasize improving the quality of student-to-student discourse as a major feature of instruction. The new standards specifically describe the importance of students understanding the reasoning of others and engaging in meaningful conversations using evidence for claims. Yet this type of student-to-student interaction tends to be rare in classrooms. Common classroom teaching activities such as whole class discussions, jigsaws, and think-pair-shares can have the appearance of constructive interactions, but they often do not provide adequate opportunities for all students to engage in back-and-forth dialog. This course looks closely at student-to-student conversations and addresses ways to improve students' abilities to engage in the types of interactions described in the new standards.

This course consists of four main sessions with three weeks between each session in order to provide extra time for application and reflection. The learning in this course relies heavily on participant contributions and comments, especially in the team collaboration setting. Participants will be expected to complete both team and individual assignments for all sessions. The sessions and assignments are designed for participants who teach or have access to classrooms in which they can gather samples of students' conversation during lessons. Finally, we include resources and tasks for instructional coaches and others who support teachers and build school-wide capacity.

Please note that this is a slightly modified version of previous courses offered since the Fall of 2013. This course is targeted towards both elementary and secondary school teachers.

We hope you will join us on this exciting journey.

More Information

Prerequisites

In order to participate in the course, you will need to have access to a classroom in which you or the teacher you are observing are able to collect short samples of paired student talk on two different occasions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment?

Participants who complete the course requirements will receive a FREE Statement of Accomplishment issued through NovoEd. Please check with your employer as to whether this statement of accomplishment may be used for professional development credit. There is no fee for this course and to receive a statement of accomplishment.

If you would like to receive a Record of Achievement with Narrative Evaluation from the Stanford University Graduate School of Education with the approximate number of professional development hours to which the course is equivalent, you may pay a fee of $200 as well as complete the course requirements. Participants who choose this option with also receive a narrative evaluation from instructors on their course performance.

2. How much of a time commitment will this course require?

The course has 4 main sessions, each three weeks apart. Studying course materials (lecture videos and readings) takes about 1.5 hours per session, while assignments will take around 6-8 hours per session.

3. Any additional textbooks or software required?

No.

Syllabus

Orientation: Introduction to Course and Teams

Session 1: Constructive Conversations I

In this session we dive into what high-quality talk between students can sound like in lessons that effectively teach the new standards. Specifically, we focus on the features of “constructive interactions," during which students create, clarify, support, and negotiate ideas as they talk about concepts and build understandings in a discipline.

Session 2: Teaching the Constructive Conversation Skills

This session focuses on instruction to support rich interaction introduced in Module 1. We analyze video clips that show teaching that fosters interaction skills described in the new standards. We look at activities that help students build interactions skills for staying focused on objectives, building and negotiating ideas, and clarifying ideas.

Session 3: Constructive Conversations II

In this session, we will look more in depth at how to foster student interactions that build the learning of lesson objectives, challenge thinking, and push students to use more complex language of the Common Core standards.

Session 4: Collaboration, Communication, and Community

This will be a summative session, in which we will pull together everything we've covered in the course to create a product that communicates to other teachers the value of having a discourse focus for implementing the new standards. You will also consider next steps for applying and collaborating in this work during the year.

The Instructors

Kenji Hakuta

Jeff Zwiers

Senior Researcher in the Stanford Graduate School of Education

Jeff Zwiers is a senior researcher at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and director of professional development for the Understanding Language Initiative, a research and professional learning project focused on improving the education of academic English learners. He has consulted for national and international teacher development projects and has published articles and books on literacy, cognition, discourse, and academic language. His current research focuses on improving professional learning models and developing classroom instruction that fosters high-quality oral language and constructive conversations across disciplines.

Sara Rutherford-Quach

Lecturer in the Stanford Graduate School of Education

Sara Rutherford-Quach is the Director of Academic Programs & Research for Understanding Language and a Lecturer in the Stanford Graduate School of Education. A former bilingual elementary teacher, Sara has more than 13 years of experience working with linguistically diverse students and their teachers and has conducted extensive research on instructional practices for English learners. Sara was previously awarded a National Academy of Education Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for her work on the role of silence and speech in an elementary classroom serving language-minority students. Her areas of interest include classroom discourse and interaction analysis; language, culture, and instruction in multilingual and multicultural educational environments; institutional, policy and curricular change; and educational equity.

 


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Date: 
Monday, February 1, 2016 to Wednesday, June 15, 2016
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The Course

This course is for teachers and others who work with English learners and other linguistically and culturally diverse students. The main focus of the course is helping teachers to use conversations to develop students' language, literacy, and thinking skills within content area classrooms. Conversations offer a host of academic, social, cognitive, and linguistic benefits, many of which you will see as you work with students and apply the ideas and reflections that emerge in the sessions.

The videos, readings, and assignments in this four-session course are meant to help you create a culture of conversation in your classroom, as well as explore how you can use conversations to teach the skills of interpretation,argumentation, and application—and the language used to enact these skills—across disciplines.

More Information

Coaching/PD Provider Component

You do not have to be a teacher to take this course. The course may also be valuable to instructional coaches, teacher educators, and site and district administrators, among others. Coaches/PD Providers also have different but related assignments.

Classroom Requirement

In order to fully participate in the course, you need to have access to a classroom in which you can obtain student language samples and implement lessons (or collaborate with classroom teachers to obtain student language samples and implement lessons).

Statement of Accomplishment

Participants who complete the course (i.e., finish the required assignments 1, 2, 3, and 4) will receive a Statement of Accomplishment from NovoEd. Please check with your employer as to whether this statement of accomplishment may be used for professional development credit. There is no fee to take the course.

Syllabus

Session 1 – Creating a Classroom CULTURE of Conversation

This first session provides a brief overview of the course and addresses the role of classroom conversation in learning and teaching and assessing of key thinking skills across disciplines. In this session we address why attending to student conversation skills is vital (but often neglected), particularly if our ultimate goal is to improve the overall quality of academic learning. This session opens with suggestions for cultivating classrooms that value learning through constructive conversation. We present an overview of key conversation skills as well as instructional scaffolding and teacher modeling to support them. The session prepares participants to observe paired student conversations, model and scaffold conversation skills, then analyze paired student conversations to improve teaching and assessment.

Session 2 – Fortifying INTERPRETATION Skills & Language with Conversation

In this second session participants learn how they can use the conversations in their discipline to teach the skill of interpretation and its language across disciplines. Interpretation, in a nutshell, means using clues (textual, visual, etc.) to construct meanings that aren't explicit and obvious. Students often interpret when reading, listening, and/or viewing. Interpretation happens in various flavors across disciplines. A student might interpret: data from a lab in science, what is happening in a long word problem in math, themes in a short story in English, the purpose of symbols in a famous painting in art, and an author's bias in a primary source document in history--all in the same day!

Session 3 – Fortifying ARGUMENTATION Skills & Language with Conversation

In this third session you learn how you can use the conversations in your discipline(s) to teach the skills of argumentation and its language. Argumentation, in a nutshell, means building up two or more competing sides of an issue with evidence and then comparing the "weight" of the two sides to decide on a winner. Argumentation is highlighted in most of the new standards for ELA, math, science, and ELD. Argumentation, of course, varies across disciplines. A student might argue: that the data gathered in a lab is not strong enough to support the original hypothesis, that a person needs to find the slope of the line to move on in a math problem, that the poem is about the cost of freedom in English, and that the patriots were justified in inciting events that led to the Revolutionary War—all in the same day!

Session 4 – Fortifying APPLICATION Skills & Language with Conversation

In this fourth and final session participants learn how they can use the conversations in their discipline to teach the language and skills needed to apply newly learned knowledge and skills across disciplines. Application, in a nutshell, means using knowledge and skills in novel contexts. Application, for the purposes of this session, includes related skills such as transferring, extending, designing, problem solving, and creating. Application looks different across disciplines. A student might apply: newly learned ideas about animal adaption in science to make conclusions about local birds, methods for solving an algebra problem to figuring out college costs, a theme in a novel to explain a situation at school, and skills of recognizing bias in historical primary sources to present day news articles--all in the same day!

This final session also pulls together what we have learned in the course to design lessons that effectively and efficiently use conversations to strengthen language and content learning.

 

The Instructors

 

Jeff Zwiers

Senior Researcher in the Stanford Graduate School of Education

Jeff Zwiers is a senior researcher at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and director of professional development for the Understanding Language Initiative, a research and professional learning project focused on improving the education of academic English learners. He has consulted for national and international teacher development projects and has published articles and books on literacy, cognition, discourse, and academic language. His current research focuses on improving professional learning models and developing classroom instruction that fosters high-quality oral language and constructive conversations across disciplines.

Steven Weiss

Project Manager, Stanford ELL Leadership Network

Steven Weiss is a Senior Research Associate at Stanford's Understanding Language/SCALE and the Project Manager for the Stanford ELL Leadership Network, a collaboration between seven small to medium sized school districts in Northern California focused on developing leadership capacity around English Language Learners. Prior to joining Understanding Language, he worked at the Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL) program at WestEd, where he was a professional developer and instructional coach for secondary teachers and administrators in urban school districts such as New York City, Austin, San Diego and San Jose. He has also worked as a K-8 school administrator, a bilingual/ESL resource teacher, and a high school Spanish/History/ESL teacher. Steven is bilingual in Spanish. He holds an M.Ed. from U.C.L.A., an M.A. in Educational Administration from San Francisco State University, and an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College.

 


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Date: 
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 to Wednesday, April 13, 2016
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Course topic: 

The Course

Why do so many students struggle to read and comprehend scientific texts? Most science teachers have witnessed it at least once: a student reads from a textbook or article, proceeding calmly and clearly from sentence to sentence, only to reach the period at the end of the paragraph with little comprehension of what he or she has just read. Even children who learn to read quickly—who begin to devour books or blogs, novels or news stories—often seem to struggle with scientific prose. As a teacher, these struggles raise important questions: Which texts should my students read? What should I do if they struggle to understand? Am I teaching a text too quickly? Too slowly? Will more reading become an uphill battle? Will less reading become less rigorous, a slippery slope that will make reading even more difficult for my students? This course is designed to address such concerns, giving teachers the tools to help students read for understanding in science.

With the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in Language Arts, theCCSS for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects, and the continuing expansion of high-stakes testing in our nation's schools, reading comprehension in science seems more important than ever – particularly as reading is key to accessing knowledge and to employment. Students must be able to engage with and read non-fiction texts such as those found in science, trace the steps of key processes, and cite evidence to draw inferences, formulate hypotheses, and support or critique arguments. These skills have always lain at the very heart of the scientific enterprise, but they are often exceptionally challenging to share with our students at the primary and secondary levels. Why?

Simply put: the language of science is unique. It can be used to communicate rapidly enormous quantities of information with extraordinary specificity—and the same features which make it so useful also make it uniquely challenging to learn. You, as a science teacher, are uniquely well positioned to help your students comprehend the language of science texts—and this course is designed to provide knowledge and strategies to help you do so. We will examine the selection of useful science texts; see specific strategies for supporting student comprehensionbeforeduring, and after reading; learn how to recognize the unique challenges posed by science texts and how to help students overcome them; and acquire the skills to foster productive discussion around scientific ideas and texts. Along the way, there will be opportunities to apply your learning inside your classroom, and to pool ideas and resources with professional colleagues from across the state and around the country.

Instructors

Jonathan Osborne, Professor
Quentin Sedlacek, Teaching Assistant
Reading to Learn in Science

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Date: 
Monday, October 5, 2015 to Sunday, November 29, 2015
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Course topic: 

Course Description:

Formative assessment is an instructional practice to gauge where your students are in their learning by gathering evidence of their learning, assessing the evidence, and planning the next steps in instruction. The Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics, the Next Generation Science Standards, and new English Language Proficiency Standards all include a focus on argumentation, requiring that students construct claims supported by evidence and/or reasoning. In this course, we will explore how formative assessment practices can be targeted in improve student argumentation skills, an essential, cross-disciplinary practice.

Participants in this course will use a range of practical tools for gathering and analyzing language samples that show how students currently construct claims supported by evidence and/or reasoning, as well as identifying next steps in students' development. These tools support formative assessment and instructional planning. Focal topics include: articulating claims; linking evidence and/or reasoning to claims; and evaluating evidence and/or reasoning. We will also explore similarities and differences in argumentation across content areas and grade levels. This course will enable teachers to collaborate with other educators and build professional relationships that result in an online community focused on improving students' abilities to engage in argumentation across content areas. This course is offered jointly by Stanford University and Oregon State University.

Course Objectives:

The main objectives of this course are for participants to:

Recognize and engage in the essential components of formative assessment
Develop a practical understanding of argumentation
Use the entire formative assessment process to focus on language to help ELLs develop argumentation skills
Use Argumentation Analysis Tool to analyze student arguments, focusing on structure and language us
Learn and implement teaching strategies for building students' capacities for argumentation
Collaborate with other educators and build professional relationships

Course Organization:

This MOOC is organized around four sessions. The content for each session will become available on a particular date.

Session 1: Introduction to the formative assessment process and how to focus on language while practicing formative assessment (October 5 - 18)
Session 2: Argumentation, its role in the new standards and associated language demands (October 19- November 1)
Session 3: Using the formative assessment process to interpret students' argumentation skills (November 2 - 15)
Session 4: Implementing and adjusting instructional strategies to improve student argumentation (November 16 -November 29)
For each of these sessions, course participants will be asked to complete a series of tasks such as watching videos, reading articles or book chapters, and completing individual and team assignments. For the sequencing of the course to be effective, the tasks for Session 1 must be completed before Session 2 begins, and so on. Yet unlike a traditional classroom, there is no specific time or day that participants must log on or "attend" class; participants are free to complete the session tasks at their own pace as long as they finish them in the allotted time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much does the course cost?

The course is offered free of charge.

2. Are any materials or textbooks needed for this course?

You will be asked to complete readings as part of the course, but all required readings will be available for free via the course website. Several of the optional readings will also be free to participants and available online. To access additional optional readings online, participants may need to pay a small fee for copyright royalties to authors and publishers. Details about how to access these optional readings will be available via the course website.

3. How do I show my school that I completed this course?

Every participant who completes the course requirements will receive a free statement of accomplishment signed by the instructors. As to whether this free statement of accomplishment may be used for professional development units in your specific context, you would need to check with your employer. Specific requirements for receiving a statement of accomplishment will be available when the course begins.

4. Do I have to be a teacher to take this course? Who else might be participating in this course?

You do not have to be a teacher to take this course. The course may also be valuable to ELL coaches, teacher educators, and site and district administrators, among others. In order to fully participate in the course, however, you do need to have access to a classroom in which you can obtain student language samples and implement lessons (or collaborate with classroom teachers to obtain student language samples and implement lessons). This is because several of the course assignments require submitting language samples - either samples of student writing or brief transcriptions of students' oral language - and reflecting on lessons.

5. Are there any tests or assignments?

The course will be organized into four sessions. Within each session, you will have one assignment to complete. In general, the course follows a cycle of inquiry approach in which you gather data about student language (specifically, samples of language students used when constructing a claim supported by evidence) implement a lesson based on your insights about student language, reflect on that lesson, and repeat the cycle again. In addition, you will provide feedback to your peers about their work.

6. If I complete all eight weeks of the course, how long should I plan on spending in the course and on coursework each week?

We anticipate that the course will take approximately 30 hours of time to complete. The course will be organized into four sessions, each spanning approximately two weeks. We anticipate that each session will take approximately 7-8 hours to complete, spread out over the approximately two week time span.

7. Is the course self-paced? Can I work ahead?

Some aspects of the course, such as readings and lecture videos, you can complete at your own pace. Within each of the four course sessions you can largely work at your own pace, but you cannot work ahead on future sessions. Because several assignments center around providing feedback to peers and collaboratively creating a lesson plan with your team, you will need to coordinate some aspects of your work with your teammates.

Instructors:

Sara Rutherford-Quach, Lecturer in the Stanford Graduate School of Education
Karen Thompson, Assistant Professor, College of Education, Oregon State University
Steven Weiss, Senior Research Associate and Project Manager, Stanford ELL Leadership Network


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Date: 
Thursday, October 1, 2015 to Tuesday, January 5, 2016
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Course topic: 

The Course

The Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards emphasize improving the quality of student-to-student discourse as a major feature of instruction. The new standards specifically describe the importance of students understanding the reasoning of others and engaging in meaningful conversations using evidence for claims. Yet this type of student-to-student interaction tends to be rare in classrooms. Common classroom teaching activities such as whole class discussions, jigsaws, and think-pair-shares can have the appearance of constructive interactions, but they often do not provide adequate opportunities for all students to engage in back-and-forth dialog. This course looks closely at student-to-student conversations and addresses ways to improve students' abilities to engage in the types of interactions described in the new standards.

This course consists of four main sessions with three weeks between each session in order to provide extra time for application and reflection. The learning in this course relies heavily on participant contributions and comments, especially in the team collaboration setting. Participants will be expected to complete both team and individual assignments for all sessions. The sessions and assignments are designed for participants who teach or have access to classrooms in which they can gather samples of students' conversation during lessons. Finally, we include resources and tasks for instructional coaches and others who support teachers and build school-wide capacity.

Please note that this is a slightly modified version of previous courses offered since the Fall of 2013. This course is targeted towards both elementary and secondary school teachers.

We hope you will join us on this exciting journey.

Prerequisites

In order to participate in the course, you will need to have access to a classroom in which you or the teacher you are observing are able to collect short samples of paired student talk on two different occasions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment?

Participants who complete the course requirements will receive a FREE Statement of Accomplishment issued through NovoEd. Please check with your employer as to whether this statement of accomplishment may be used for professional development credit. There is no fee for this course and to receive a statement of accomplishment.

If you would like to receive a Record of Achievement with Narrative Evaluation from the Stanford University Graduate School of Education with the approximate number of professional development hours to which the course is equivalent, you may pay a fee of $200 as well as complete the course requirements. Participants who choose this option with also receive a narrative evaluation from instructors on their course performance.

2. How much of a time commitment will this course require?

The course has 4 main sessions, each three weeks apart. Studying course materials (lecture videos and readings) takes about 1.5 hours per session, while assignments will take around 6-8 hours per session.

3. Any additional textbooks or software required?

No.

Syllabus

Orientation: Introduction to Course and Teams (October 1 - 6)

Session 1: Constructive Conversations I (October 7 - 27)

In this session we dive into what high-quality talk between students can sound like in lessons that effectively teach the new standards. Specifically, we focus on the features of “constructive interactions," during which students create, clarify, support, and negotiate ideas as they talk about concepts and build understandings in a discipline.

Session 2: Teaching the Constructive Conversation Skills (October 28 - November 17)

This session focuses on instruction to support rich interaction introduced in Module 1. We analyze video clips that show teaching that fosters interaction skills described in the new standards. We look at activities that help students build interactions skills for staying focused on objectives, building and negotiating ideas, and clarifying ideas.

Session 3: Constructive Conversations II (November 18 - December 8)

In this session, we will look more in depth at how to foster student interactions that build the learning of lesson objectives, challenge thinking, and push students to use more complex language of the Common Core standards.

Session 4: Collaboration, Communication, and Community (December 9 - January 5)

This will be a summative session, in which we will pull together everything we've covered in the course to create a product that communicates to other teachers the value of having a discourse focus for implementing the new standards. You will also consider next steps for applying and collaborating in this work during the year.

Instructor(s): 
Kenji Hakuta

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