Teaching All Learners Innovation Pilot
This fall, the Aspire Institute and Boston Public Schools launched the Teaching All Learners pilot program in partnership with the Higginson Elementary School. Teaching All Learners is a yearlong professional development program that engages all school staff in interactive, competency-based training. In this pilot, professional development is provided school-wide to support all staff in implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) techniques. This program provides a unique, collaborative opportunity for school staff to collectively evaluate their environment, resources, and curriculum to better serve students.
The goal of the Teaching All Learners program is to foster school-wide instructional collaboration that will create a network of support for all students. The program introduces the Universal Design for Learning framework, explores best practices in assessment and data-driven instruction, and implements school-wide structures to nurture strong learning environments.
Teaching All Learners addresses four focus areas: framework, assessment, instruction, and structures. Framework outlines the UDL approach to educational design, Assessment explores best practices for student observation and reviewing student work, Instruction focuses on differentiated instruction and data-driven instructional design, and Structure implements school-wide inclusive practices and teacher support systems.
The three program components of the Teaching All Learners pilot are:
- 30 hours of in-person training attended by all educators, administrators, and support staff at the Higginson.
- 30 hours of online professional development.
- Classroom implementation and production of authentic artifacts from staff work with students.
Teaching All Learners aligns to Standard II, 'Teaching All Students' on the Massachusetts Teacher Evaluation Model. Wheelock staff collaborated with the BPS Office of Curriculum and Instruction to provide teachers with current, relevant resources.
Teaching All Learners uses Community Agreements developed by the School Reform Initiative, to guide all interactions and work.
Areas of Focus
Framework: Coursework is tied directly to teachers' classroom experience at the Higginson School. During this unit, teachers create instructional activities and analyze their success.
Assessment: Teachers learn to use a variety of tools and standards to measure their students' progress throughout the school year (i.e. DIBELS, TRC, LAP-D, and PALS).
Instruction: Teachers obtain resources to create high-quality early education experiences for children with the ultimate goal of preparing students to communicate ideas and problem-solve successfully.
Structures: Staff work to build a school-wide student engagement system, collaborating on how best to implement their ideas and support each other through the process.
With this program, Boston Public Schools sets an example to other school districts by addressing the importance of inclusive practices in the classroom and school learning environment.
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