Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Innovating Instruction: Teachers as Designers #SXSWedu

Innovating Instruction: Teachers as Designers
SXSW 2017 Case Study

Teacher need a bridge to navigate the extreme changes in learning and schools.

Instructional innovation is needed. Just adding technology does not change the fundamental way teachers work in the classroom.

One meta-analysis of research shows that

  • It takes 49 hours of it to impact instruction in the classroom
  • It works best when it is delivered in the situation where it is going to be used.

Teachers as designers is a fundamental component of school change. We often ask teachers to design without giving them the supports they need to become designers.

National Science Foundation worked in two schools over the course of 3 1/2 years. 
  • Had a vision for inquiry (elem school), exploration (middle school), and project based learning.
  • But were struggling with implementing at a deep level.
  • Three cycles of research and design to refine the approach. 

Approach became Design, Situate, Lead
  • Design- backwards design, enrich content knowledge, leverage technology
  • Situate - No "one size fits all" for curriculum design. Contextualize teacher learning, model effective practice (co-teach, observe, be observed), individualize support based on what teachers need. 
  • Lead - administration must envision change so they can support what is happening, empower leadership at all levels, sustain a culture for innovation (what changes need to be made to sustain the work)

Finding 1. Teachers as Designers
  • Teachers can be designers. It's a phrase that's thrown around a lot.
  • Collaboration, documentation, and reflection on planning increased
Finding 2. Importance of the Inquiry Stance
  • Pursue big questions.
  • Facilitators need to establish trust
Finding 3. Building Teachers' Capacities as Leaders
  • Need support of principals and administrators
  • Teachers shared within and beyond their school
Finding 4. Critical Role of Principals - Structural Changes at the School -Level
  • Need to encourage and showcase teachers and their efforts.

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