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Education

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Education
Date: 
Thursday, March 6, 2014 to Thursday, May 29, 2014
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Course topic: 

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 short 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 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. 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 a previous course offered in Fall, 2013. This course is targeted towards elementary school teachers. 

We hope you will join us on this exciting journey.

Instructor(s): 
Kenji Hakuta
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Date: 
Monday, September 8, 2014
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The Course

Given their emphasis on complex and sophisticated disciplinary skills and understandings, the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science 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. Performance-based tasks require that students create and produce rather than recall and regurgitate. 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 nine-week course will focus on building educators’ capacity to use, develop, and implement curriculum-embedded performance assessments that fit local contexts. Course activities include evaluating sample performance tasks and developing and implementing 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 for learning.

This MOOC is designed for grade 6-12 teachers working in the core disciplines of mathematics, language arts, history/social studies, and science. It is recommended that participants currently teach or have access to a classroom for which they can design a performance assessment and then implement that assessment. Participants will work collaboratively with other educators in their discipline to accomplish course learning goals and assignments.

The four 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;
  • Begin to use data from performance tasks to tailor and improve instruction and curriculum;
  • Contribute to building an online community of educators focused on using performance-based assessments to identify and develop students’ abilities.

This nine-week course will include video presentations, required readings, and homework activities. For each of the eight core sessions, students can expect to spend a total of 2-4 hours weekly watching videos, reading, completing assignments, and collaborating with peers.  The ninth week will allow students to complete and submit their final project.

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.

Instructors

Raymond L. Pecheone

Professor of Practice at the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University and Executive Director of the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE)

Raymond Pecheone is Professor of Practice at the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University and Executive Director of the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE). SCALE focuses on the development of innovative performance assessments for students, teachers, and administrators at the school, district and state levels. Over the course of his career, Dr. Pecheone has been a leader in high stakes educational reform through assessment, research and policy work. Currently, Dr. Pecheone and SCALE are developing the performance assessment specifications and tasks for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) national assessment system that will be used by up to 22 states.

Daisy Martin

Director of History/Social Studies Performance Assessment at SCALE

Daisy Martin is Director of History/Social Studies Performance Assessment at SCALE. Her 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’s 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 common units of study. A former history and civics teacher, Daisy holds a doctorate from Stanford University and a BA in history/philosophy from the University of Michigan.

Ruth Chung Wei

Director of Assessment Research and Development at SCALE

Ruth Chung Wei is currently Director of Assessment Research and Development at the 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.

 

Design for Deeper Learning

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Date: 
Monday, October 21, 2013 to Monday, December 9, 2013
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Course topic: 

The Common Core State Standards for English ELA and Mathematics 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 discourse tends to be rare in classrooms. Common classroom 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 academically rich, back-and-forth dialogs.    

This short course looks closely at student-to-student discourse and addresses how to facilitate student engagement in the types of interactions required by the new standards. It organizes a massive collaboration of educators who wish to support students, particularly English Language Learners, to co-create and build upon each other’s ideas as they interact with the content.  Starting with the notion that in order to improve the quality of student discourse, educators need to listen closely to existing talk, the course asks participants to gather, analyze, and share examples of student conversations from their classrooms. The overall goal is for participating educators to better understand student-student classroom discourse and use what they learn to facilitate higher quality interactions that build disciplinary knowledge and skills. 

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

  1. Develop a practical understanding of academically-engaged classroom discourse, with emphasis on what this looks like in linguistically diverse classrooms that are focused on teaching Common Core State Standards;
  2. Listen more carefully to student talk and use a discourse analysis tool to analyze student discourse, focusing on how interactions build disciplinary language, knowledge, and skills.
  3. Learn and practice practical teaching strategies for building students’ abilities to engage in constructive face-to-face interactions;
  4. Collaborate with other educators and build professional relationships that result in an online community focused on improving students’ abilities to engage rich academic discourse across disciplines and grade levels.

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 two different times. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment?

This course may be taken for a free statement of accomplishment.

How much of the time commitment will this course be?

Online work will take around 1 hour per week; assignments will take around 1 hour per week.

Any additional textbooks or software required?

No.

Syllabus

Weeks 1-2: Constructive Conversations I

In these two weeks 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. 

Weeks 3-4: Teaching the Constructive Conversation Skills 

These two weeks focus 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. 

Weeks 5-6: Constructive Conversations II

These two weeks 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. 

Week 7: Collaboration, Communication, and Community

This will be a summative week, when 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
Jeff Zwiers
Sara Rutherford-Quach
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Date: 
Monday, July 15, 2013
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In July 2013 a new course will be available on Stanford’s free on-line platform. The course is a short intervention designed to change students’ relationships with math. I have taught this intervention successfully in the past (in classrooms); it caused students to re-engage successfully with math, taking a new approach to the subject and their learning.

In the 2013-2014 school year the course will be offered to learners of math but in July of 2013 I will release a version of the course designed for teachers and other helpers of math learners, such as parents. In the teacher/parent version I will share the ideas I will present to students and hold a conversation with teachers and parents about the ideas. There will also be sessions giving teachers/parents particular strategies for achieving changes in students and opportunities for participants to work together on ideas through the forum pages. The ideas I will share will be really helpful as teachers prepare to implement the new Common Core State Standards.

CONCEPTS

1. Knocking down the myths about math.
Math is not about speed, memorization or learning lots of rules. There is no such thing as “math people” and non-math people. Girls are equally capable of the highest achievement. This session will include interviews with students.

2. Math and Mindset.
Participants will be encouraged to develop a growth mindset, they will see evidence of how mindset changes students’ learning trajectories, and learn how it can be developed.

3. Mistakes, Challenges & Persistence.

What is math persistence? Why are mistakes so important? How is math linked to creativity? This session will focus on the importance of mistakes, struggles and persistence.

4. Teaching Math for a Growth Mindset.

This session will give strategies to teachers and parents for helping students develop a growth mindset and will include an interview with Carol Dweck.

5. Conceptual Learning. Part I. Number Sense.
Math is a conceptual subject– we will see evidence of the importance of conceptual thinking and participants will be given number problems that can be solved in many ways and represented visually.

6. Conceptual Learning. Part II. Connections, Representations, Questions.
In this session we will look at and solve math problems at many different grade levels and see the difference in approaching them procedurally and conceptually. Interviews with successful users of math in different, interesting jobs (film maker, inventor of self-driving cars etc) will show the importance of conceptual math.

7. Appreciating Algebra.
Participants will learn some key research findings in the teaching and learning of algebra and learn about a case of algebra teaching.

8. Going From This Course to a New Mathematical Future.
This session will review the ideas of the course and think about the way towards a new mathematical future.

PREREQUISITES

There are no prerequisites for this course.

FAQ: 

Whom is this course for?

This course is for teachers of math (K-12) or for other helpers of students, such as parents. After the summer I will release a student version of this course. This course provides an opportunity for teachers and parents to preview the ideas for students and think about how they may be useful, as well as learn from new research ideas and share ideas with other teachers and parents who enroll in the course.

What is the course structure?

The course will consist of eight short sessions, your watching /listening time will be 10-15 minutes per session. In those sessions I will combine some videos of me, interviews with students, cutting edge research ideas, interesting visuals, and some peer and self-assessments. The course will also include interviews with some of the world’s leading thinkers, such as Sebastian Thrun (Udacity/Google) and Carol Dweck (expert on mindset). If you engage with the materials actively, thinking and writing about teaching and learning, I anticipate that each session will take you somewhere between 1 and 2 hours.

What is the pace of the course?

The course will launch on July 15th, a good pace may be to take 2 sessions per week, but you can choose your own pace. The course will close on September 27th, 2013.

How will I be assessed?

Those who finish the course will receive a statement of accomplishment. During the course there will be no grades given. Occasionally you will be asked to complete a self or peer assessment. These are intended to help your learning, not to grade you.

Can I collaborate with other teachers/parents?

It will be ideal if you can take this course with others, and discuss the ideas together. There will also be opportunities to engage in discussions through the forum pages, and to share good ideas for teaching.

Do I need to buy a textbook?

You do not need to buy a textbook. My book “What’s Math Got To Do With It?” Penguin, 2009 (for the USA) or “The Elephant in the Classroom” Souvenir Press, 2010 (for the UK) will allow you to go into greater depth on some of the ideas.

Can I get professional development hours from my district if I take this course?

This is entirely at the discretion of your school district but a number of districts have said that they will be providing 16 professional development hours to their teachers who complete the course - which means finishing the course and also completing all of the assigned tasks.

Does this course carry any kind of Stanford University credit?

No.

Instructor(s): 
Jo Boaler

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