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Our growing portfolio of partnerships, programs, and projects showcases the many avenues we pursue to empower educators to use their practice to advance social justice and equity in the classroom.
Our team pursues active collaborations with K-12 schools and districts, university and residency teacher preparation programs, and education agencies to advance the power of teaching to create a more just society across the globe. Learn more about our past and present partnerships below.
TeachingWorks partnered with the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED) in 2018 to host a summit for teacher educators focused on practice-based teacher education. This special convening brought together faculty members from ten minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) from across the country, with the goal of introducing participants to practice-based teacher education and unpacking how it can be an effective framework for preparing beginning teachers. Throughout the convening, participants engaged in a variety of learning experiences and explored ways to incorporate practice-based pedagogies into their courses. In 2019, we presented a strand of work at BranchEd’s summer conference. In addition to our direct partnership with the organization, we have worked with University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University through grants funded by Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity.
TeachingWorks provided professional learning in practice-based teacher education to more than 100 teacher educators from throughout the California State University System, with opportunities for participants to engage in “public teaching days,” or publicly-taught methods courses in which the instructor engages colleagues in analyzing problems of practice and engaging in continuous instructional and program improvement.
Funded by S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, The California State University Methods Course Fellowship was a partnership between TeachingWorks and the California State University (CSU) system to support the development of practice-based approaches in elementary mathematics and English language arts methods courses on 11 CSU campuses. The work originally began with us working directly with six instructors who train teacher candidates in mathematics from five CSU campuses during the 2017–2018 academic year to design a curriculum unit to use in their courses. Over the years, the partnership grew to include teacher educators from six other campuses within the CSU system and to focus on English language arts methods instruction. During the semester when they were teaching their units, TeachingWorks supported the instructors with coaching, feedback, and resources. The goal of the work was for methods instructors to learn how to work deliberately on disrupting inequity by integrating the high-leverage practices with mathematical and English language arts content.
TeachingWorks provides responsive, on-going professional development and coaching for teachers in grades K through 9 in eight schoolsfrom Grand Rapids Public Schools and Godfrey Lee Public Schools to support their implementation and refinement of equitable, rigorous, and joyful mathematics instruction. To do this, we engage school-based teams of teachers in targeted monthly workshops and video and lesson study sessions. These opportunities are designed to deepen participants’ understanding of mathematics, to create space for practicing and receiving feedback on elements of teaching, and to engage in recognizing and seeking to disrupt systemic racism through our collective power as educators.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, in partnership with Ann Arbor Public Schools, Ypsilanti Community Schools, and San Diego Unified School District, TeachingWorks established a virtual weekly mathematics program for upper elementary children in grades 3 through 5, from schools in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, MI and San Diego, CA. Two experienced teachers who are members of our team worked with the 15 participating children every Wednesday afternoon, focusing on challenging mathematics problems and mathematical communication and disrupting common patterns of marginalization, using resources and practices developed in our Elementary Mathematics Laboratory (EML). To compliment the work, we hosted a virtual professional learning series for mathematics teachers to explore problems of practice in teaching mathematics that teachers must navigate whether teaching virtually or in person. In monthly sessions, we supported participants to explore topics such as choosing and modifying tasks, creating classroom communities that support mathematical discourse, and disrupting patterns of injustice through teaching practice and mathematical content.
Teacher Preparation Partnership, 2015-2021
The Michigan Program Network was one of TeachingWorks’s first partnerships, which later bloomed into its own independent organization, the Michigan Teacher Education Network. Our work together supported efforts to implement practice-based approaches in teacher education across the state. Over the course of six years, this partnership expanded from six universities to 10 across the state, two school districts, and the Michigan Department of Education. The work of the partnership focused on building capacity within teacher educators to focus their instruction on disrupting patterns of inequity within teacher education. Other goals included building a new “curriculum map” within programs to implement practice based approaches, forming P-12 -university partnerships through collaboration on mentoring novice teachers, and establishing a common language for teacher educators in the state of Michigan to talk about teaching practice.
With the support of the McKnight Foundation provided TeachingWorks professional learning in practice-based teacher education to 15 methods course instructors within teacher preparation programs at Minnesota State University-Mankato; St. Catherine University; Augsburg University; University of Minnesota- Twin Cities; University of Minnesota-Crookston; St. Cloud State University; University of St. Thomas; Southwest Minnesota State University; and Bemidji State University.
TeachingWorks partnered with coaches and leaders in Marion County Public Schools in Indiana to develop a laboratory teaching model. In the first year of the work, a select group of elementary coaches learned to plan observation lessons and facilitate associated pre- and post-observation discussions with groups of teachers who observed classroom teaching as a cohort. The partnership focused on learning specific moves to make teaching public and observable by others. In our second year of working together, we launched a summer intensive to support all district coaches to use the laboratory teaching model.
TeachingWorks partnered with Muskegon Public Schools in Western Michigan to work with a core group of
mathematics teachers and coaches in grades 3 through 9 to build skill with supporting students to engage in mathematical discourse. This work took place during the first full pandemic school year—a time when supporting mathematics discourse was crucial, but challenging due to the online format of schooling. Coaches engaged in simulations and rehearsals of coaching conversations to practice supporting teachers in this work.
TeachingWorks is partnering with the 40 faculty members at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University through a grant funded by Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity. The goals of the project are to leverage practice-based teacher education to better educate and train culturally responsive teachers, and to strengthen partnerships between the university and local schools through shared and relevant professional development experiences. Through a series of in-person and virtual professional development opportunities, participants are learning how to use teacher educator pedagogies in their unique contexts to train and support novice and practicing teachers.
This two-year partnership with Palo Verde Unified School District in Southern California focused on three strands of work. In the first strand, teachers from elementary schools across the district engaged in monthly professional learning to refine their practice of eliciting and interpreting student thinking, modeling content and practices, and leading discussions in mathematics in ways that disrupt patterns of inequity often seen in mathematics classrooms. The second strand of work involved concentrated support for a subset of teachers including individualized coaching and participation in facilitated video clubs where teachers shared records of practice. The third strand brought together teachers across grade levels and disciplines to participate in an elementary mathematics laboratory, where they observed and collaboratively engaged in teaching.
Funded by the Charles Butt Foundation and in partnership with WestEd, TeachingWorks is partnered with Raising Texas Teachers to support teacher educators from more than a dozen teacher preparation programs across Texas to implement practice-based approaches to teacher education. With our support, faculty have designed and implemented a practice-based unit that attended to all four phases of the learning cycle. Our convenings provide supports to that design work, as well as opportunities to practice and develop skill in pausing to provide in-the-moment feedback to teacher candidates.
TeachingWorks is supporting teacher educators from the Isabelle Farrington College of Education at Sacred Heart University (SHU) in Connecticut to continue shifting their program toward a practice-based, justice-focused model by offering whole group workshops on topics like advancing justice, pedagogies of teacher education (e.g., rehearsal), and high-leverage practices. We are also supporting faculty to design practice-based “units” in their methods courses, and providing individual and group coaching using video and other artifacts from faculty members’ classrooms.
Over several weekends, TeachingWorks worked with a group of mentor teachers in San Francisco Unified School District to equip them with new tools and strategies for supporting their mentees. The work focused on helping mentees develop their skill at eliciting and interpreting student thinking, and the mentor teachers practiced giving practice-based, actionable, equity-focused feedback to their mentees.
The School-Based Teacher Education partnership was a collaborative effort between TeachingWorks, teacher education faculty at Grand Valley State University (GVSU), and mentor teachers in Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS). In monthly sessions, we supported a group of more than 20 teacher educators and elementary mentor teachers to produce strategies to work synergistically across the university and in school settings to better support student teachers as they learned to teach.
TeachingWorks partnered with the College of Education at Towson University to provide professional learning for teacher educators, field supervisors, and mentor teachers focused on using practice-based pedagogies to develop teacher candidate skill with high-leverage practices. The partnership began with a three-day workshop for administration and 22 faculty members to introduce four high-leverage practices and their decompositions alongside core pedagogies and assessments of teacher candidate’s skills with these practices. The work then expanded to include larger numbers of faculty in 2018, 2019, and 2020, as well as adding a focus on a fourth high-leverage practice. Alongside these workshops, Towson faculty worked with the support of their dean to build their own internally lead professional learning communities to develop work on practice-based teacher education and a program of support for those new to practice-based teacher education. In 2021, the partnership added on work focused on noticing and disrupting patterns of whiteness in teaching practice and teacher education.
TeachingWorks partnered with the University of North Carolina – Charlotte College of Education to support their existing teacher education institute structure focused on three high-leverage practices. Our work together first involved building a shared understanding of the focal practices and then taking an in-depth look at how to support teacher candidates to enact them. Our collaboration was foundational for the college’s phase III of program redesign toward practice-based approaches. In the fall of 2018, TeachingWorks provided additional support through a workshop focused on eliciting and interpreting student thinking and decomposing practices as a foundation for faculty to build decompositions of other focal practices. Early in 2019, we worked with 30 faculty focused on a second practice. In May 2020, we extended our work to 21 field supervisors and faculty members to examine field-based pedagogies to support the learning of practice. Across this partnership, the college leadership led faculty in program redesign and cycles of supported self-study.
In this national partnership, TeachingWorks is providing support to faculty members in the University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (US PREP) network as they build their capability related to developing curriculum literacy in novice teachers. In addition, we are supporting US PREP faculty members to develop and pilot an assessment of novice teachers’ ability to analyze and adapt curriculum materials.
Throughout the year, our projects allow the TeachingWorks team to support our own learning through intensive research and hands-on interactions with children and teacher candidates.
TeachingWorks projects are designed to help us explore practices and pedagogies in teaching and teacher education that disrupt patterns of inequity. Developing our own understanding and perspectives enables us to better design practice-based learning opportunities and guide educators through TeachingWorks partnerships and programs.
Because TeachingWorks continues to evolve through our work with other educators, we often pursue projects that align with our own learning and research. We offer opportunities to join us in these projects so that our collective work to advance the power of teaching is enriched.
Our projects typically focus on high-leverage practices with direct engagement in the classroom—such as our Summer Mathematics Camps.
We also invest in the exploration of more experimental topics that are meaningful and promising. Through focus groups and immersive research, we seek to understand more completely the vital role educators play in supporting the learning of content and teaching for social justice.
TeachingWorks works closely with others who share our passion for advancing the power of teaching or who work to improve the conditions of public education and the lives of children. Collectively, we call these efforts “Action for Change.” We are continually looking for like-minded partners to support. Please contact us at email@example.com to discuss your initiative.
Working in close collaboration with outside partners who share our belief in the power of equity and social justice in teaching and teacher education, we strive to spark positive change. Our team actively pursues a variety of actions including:
•Partnerships and affiliations
Each member of the TeachingWorks team has a deep commitment to collective work borne out of the conviction that a more just society depends on collaborative networks of people who contribute complementary and powerful expertise. We strive to go beyond programs and coursework and work in solidarity with those who pursue justice in far-reaching ways.
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