Alverno College is among only 15 in the country to serve as a founding program partner of the Educator Preparation Laboratory (EdPrepLab), a new initiative announced today by the Learning Policy Institute and Bank Street Graduate School of Education. EdPrepLab is intended to help educator preparation programs ensure that new teachers and leaders enter the classroom able to provide K-12 students with the kind of education that helps them develop “deeper learning” skills like critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and the ability to apply knowledge in a range of contexts.
Research shows that teachers are the number one in-school factor affecting student outcomes and principals are number two. One important metric for those outcomes is how well students are able to navigate our increasingly global and technologically complex world, where “deeper learning” skills are crucial to success.
EdPrepLab brings together 15 of the nation’s leading teacher and principal preparation programs from across the country to collaborate on developing models for preparation that equip educators for deeper learning and that can be replicated at other programs across the nation. The initiative will also support research to improve preparation programs and work with policymakers at federal, state, and local levels to help encourage the use of research-based practices that ensure new teachers and school leaders are well-equipped to provide students with a whole child education and to build the next generation of equitable schools.
“Our world has changed significantly since the U.S. education system was first developed and students today need an education that supports and prepares them for that more diverse, technology-driven, knowledge-based society,” said Linda Darling-Hammond, president of the Learning Policy Institute. “That means we need to prepare teachers and school leaders to provide this kind of education. Fortunately, we have research to guide the way. There is a wealth of new knowledge about the science of learning and development, how social and emotional skills support academic learning, and how to ensure that students really understand what they have learned.”
The other EdPrepLab founding educator preparation programs are: Bank Street College, NY; High Tech High, San Diego, CA; Montclair State University, NJ; San Francisco Teacher Residency (San Francisco United School District, Stanford University and University San Francisco); Trinity University, San Antonio, TX; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Chicago Teacher Residency, IL; University of Colorado, Boulder; University of Colorado, Denver; University of Illinois, Chicago; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; University of Washington; and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.
“We are excited to be one of the founding program partners, and it truly is an honor to be working with so many highly-regarded programs across the country,” said Dr. Patricia Luebke, dean of the Alverno College School of Professional Studies, which includes the Education division. “It’s imperative that we address the needs of today’s children and impart them with the skills they need to be successful throughout their lives.”
New science on learning and development shows that deeper learning requires a different approach to educator preparation than commonly available. Working individually and in groups, these programs will develop and share curricula, practices, and syllabi aimed at ensuring their graduates can:
- Create conditions for learning that reflect an understanding of child and adolescent development and the science of learning;
- Develop and implement curricular designs and instructional strategies that motivate and engage students in higher-order thinking and equip graduates with 21st century skills and competencies;
- Understand their own social and emotional competencies, model them for students, and build practices that integrate social, emotional, and cognitive skill building with academic content;
- Create structures that reach beyond the classroom to provide systems of academic, social, and emotional support, including personalized supports that address students’ needs and the impacts of adversity; and
- Be equity-focused and responsive to the needs of diverse learners.
The initiative will be co-led by Learning Policy Institute, a national institute focused on conducting and disseminating research to improve education policy and practice, and Bank Street Graduate School of Education, a recognized leader in teacher and principal preparation and the development of innovative education practices. Over time, EdPrepLab will increase the number of participating educator preparation programs in the network, inviting schools to apply to participate.
“Responsive relationships are at the heart of all learning. The EdPrepLab network will integrate the latest research about how our brains develop and respond to learning environments to strengthen teacher preparation policy and practice,” said Bank Street College President Shael Polakow-Suransky, GSE ’00. “We have urgent work to do to ensure every child in this country is supported by educators who know them well and are ready to respond to their developmental needs.”
EdPrepLab’s work is, in part, informed by a new book, Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning, by Linda Darling-Hammond, Jeannie Oakes, Steven Wojcikiewicz, Maria Hyler, Roneeta Guha, Anne Podolsky, Tara Kini, Channa Cook-Harvey, Charmaine Jackson Mercer, and Akeelah Harrell. In the book, the authors examine the teacher preparation model of Bank Street Graduate School of Education, as well as the models at six of the programs now among the founding programs of EdPrepLab. Alverno College’s teacher preparation program is among those profiled in the book.
About the Learning Policy Institute
The Learning Policy Institute conducts and communicates independent, high-quality research to improve education policy and practice. Working with policymakers, researchers, educators, community groups, and others, the Institute seeks to advance evidence-based policies that support empowering and equitable learning for each and every child. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, the Institute connects policymakers and stakeholders at the local, state, and federal levels with the evidence, ideas, and actions needed to strengthen the education system from preschool through college and career readiness.
About Bank Street Graduate School of Education
Bank Street Graduate School of Education is a recognized leader in teacher and leader preparation and the development of innovative practice in schools, childcare settings, and learning communities. By combining the study of human development, pedagogical learning theory, and sustained clinical practice, our approach to teaching and learning produces thoughtful, well-prepared educators ready to create nurturing opportunities for the ongoing social, emotional, and cognitive development of all students. Learn more about Bank Street Graduate School of Education at graduate.bankstreet.edu.
About Alverno College
Founded in 1887 by the School Sisters of St. Francis, Alverno College promotes the academic, personal and professional development of its students in a collaborative and inclusive environment. Undergraduate programs for women are offered in more than 60 areas of study, and graduate programs in education, nursing, community psychology, school psychology, music therapy and business are open to women and men.
A leader in higher education innovation, Alverno has earned international accolades for its highly effective ability-based, assessment-as-learning approach to education, which emphasizes hands-on experience and develops in-demand skills. The college, Wisconsin’s first Hispanic-Serving Institution, ranks among the top schools in the Midwest for its commitment to undergraduate teaching and innovation by U.S. News & World Report. For the past two years, The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education named Alverno the country’s most inspiring college.
Based in Milwaukee, Wis., Alverno College is a four-year independent, Catholic, liberal arts college.Did you like this story? Subscribe to NNS today.