Educators must be learners too. For both teachers and administrators, effective practice, practice which results in improved student learning, requires continual professional learning. Much of the Alliance's work seeks new and improved ways of honoring and meeting this need.
The Adolescent Literacy Collaboratory is a year-long, job-embedded professional learning experience for middle school and high school teachers of math, science, social studies, and English/language arts. The Collaboratory combines an initial face-to-face institute with year-long online learning activities.
Web site: /Collaboratory
ARISE is a Brown University program funded by the National Institutes of Health through its Science Education Partnership Awards program. ARISE is designed to engage students in inquiry-based approaches to learning about science, bring cutting-edge research into the classroom, and improve the understanding of the relevance of science to everyday life. The Education Alliance’s evaluation design for this program includes components to examine critical outcomes of the ARISE program, which are both developmental and performance driven in nature.
The Career Ladder Program has provided assistance to prospective teachers to pursue studies to become certified as teachers who are credentialed to teach English Language Learners in Rhode Island schools. The program has focused on participants from Southeast Asian and Latino communities. Participants have attended classes at RI colleges and universities, including the Community College of RI (CCRI), RI College (RIC), Providence College (PC), University of RI (URI), and Brown University.
The CAMR program is part of Brown University’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and is funded under the National Science Foundation’s MRSEC grant program. CAMR has the objective of fostering inter-disciplinary research through education and outreach. In collaboration with CAMR faculty, The Education Alliance is investigating two components of the outreach activities: BrownOut and Research Experience for Teachers (RET).
The Education Alliance conducted an applied research project on the design and evaluation of online seminars to allow in-depth learning about topics in elementary mathematics education. The project targeted teachers using Investigations in Number, Data and Space, a K-12 mathematics curriculum, and focused on issues of curriculum implementation.
With support from a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, The Education Alliance developed a research-based set of supports, strategies and processes to build and support collective leadership capacity, sponsor and foster cross-stakeholder problem-solving, and mobilize and facilitate collaborative learning. Known as the CSR Support and Capacity Building Program, the primary mission of our work was to support State Education Agencies and Districts in their efforts to significantly impact district and school improvement. With this as our mission, we engaged in a multitude of activities with several states and districts along the Eastern Seaboard.
Web site: /projects/csrqi
The Development and Dissemination Schools Initiative was a five-year project of the New York City Board of Education's Office of English Language Learners and The Education Alliance at Brown University. Its goal was to help New York's English language learners (ELLs) acquire both English language and other skills and knowledge they needed to meet the New Standards that the Chancellor had established for all students in New York City.
The Education Alliance provided professional development funded by the HELP Coalition to teachers in the Providence School District in the form of coursework, training, and classroom consultation. Established in 1994 by six private, not-for-profit hospitals and four private, independent colleges and universities (including Brown) located in Providence, HELP strategically developed partnerships to enhance its member organizations’ programs focused on the well-being of children and families in Providence.
The Education Alliance collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Education (MADOE) to produce a professional development curriculum, Introduction to Second Language Learning and Teaching, that builds teachers’ knowledge of second language acquisition and culture. This curriculum fulfills the first set of requirements for MADOE’s recommended professional development for teachers of ELLs, known as Category 1.
The Knowledge Loom is an award-winning collection of best practices, narratives, and resources for school improvement. The Loom addresses topics of national interest such as improving literacy across the content areas, leadership structures, high school restructuring, and effective models of using technology in education. A companion guidebook, Using the Knowledge Loom: Ideas and Tools for Collaborative Professional Development, is a how-to resource of activities that uses The Knowledge Loom Web site content and online interactive tools to guide improved teaching and learning.
Web site: http://knowledgeloom.org
Our Leading with Diversity (LWD) Professional Development Curriculum explores the cultural competencies—i.e., the skills and awareness related to issues such as culture, language, race, and ethnicity—that educators need to work with students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
The Education Alliance and Brown University's Department of Portuguese & Brazilian Studies jointly offered advanced degrees in English as a second language and cross-cultural studies for candidates with a Bachelor's Degree and a teaching certificate. The program incorporated second language acquisition research, culturally responsive pedagogy, and practical experiences to build the candidate's foundational knowledge.
The Rhode Island Writing Project, a program at Rhode Island College, contracted with The Education Alliance to evaluate the "New Approaches to Reading and Writing in the Secondary Content Areas" Project. Funded for four years by the Rhode Island Office of Higher Education, the Project engaged teachers from middle and high schools in Woonsocket, Providence, Warwick and North Providence, RI.
The Education Alliance is conducting an evaluation of The Coaching Cycle: An Interactive Online Course for Mathematics Coaches, awarded to EDC through the NSF Discovery Research program for the training and support of instructional coaching in K-8 mathematics. The goal of the project is to deepen coaches’ understanding of selected mathematical topics that are frequently problematic in K-8 instruction, while providing participants an opportunity to learn and practice content-based coaching skills in a collegial online community.
The Rhode Island Department of Education contracted with The Education Alliance to conduct an external evaluation of its implementation of the PRIMETIME program, which provides training, curricular support and higher education coaches to work with middle and secondary school teachers throughout the state.
PRIMES is a three-year, federally funded Math Science Partnership (MSP) program of the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (RIDE). The goals of the PRIMES program are to increase the academic achievement of students in mathematics and science by enhancing the content knowledge and instructional skills of classroom teachers. Partnership between high-need school districts and the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) faculty in institutions of higher education are at the core of these improvement efforts. The evaluation study of PRIMES, conducted by The Education Alliance, examines the implementation and impact of the program at each of three selected school districts.
Hezel Associates subcontracted with The Education Alliance to conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of PBS's online teacher development program, TeacherLine.
"Student-centered learning" describes a style of teaching and learning where the environment, curriculum, and instruction focus primarily on helping students achieve success. Understanding how to build and sustain student-centered learning environments at the high school level is crucial to the long-term goal of improving high schools. The purpose of the Personalized Learning Project was to capture and disseminate procedural knowledge about how schools can become student-centered, and to articulate the process required to create and sustain personalized learning as the guiding norm of high schools.
In partnership with Hezel Associates, The Education Alliance conducted primary data collection for a formative evaluation of Rhode Island’s implementation of the Physics First program. The Physics First program reorders the traditional high school science curriculum sequence to begin with the teaching of physics in the ninth grade, followed by chemistry and biology in the tenth and eleventh grades.
The Principals’ Leadership Network (PLN) was formed to conduct action research on developing solutions to the problems faced by today's K-12 principals. The network has supported collegial relationships, guided professional growth, and fostered collaboration among principals. The key benefit of the program has been the sharing of ideas and best practices through regular meetings, workshops, and forums, and linking members with similar needs.
With funding from the Carnegie Foundation to the Providence School District, The Education Alliance has worked with the Providence district administration to assist district high schools in redesigning into small learning communities. An Education Alliance facilitator/coach worked with administrators and teacher based teams at each school on developing plans for the redesign of each school into smaller learning communities (SLC).
Ready to Learn Providence (R2LP) contracted with The Education Alliance to conduct an evaluation of its professional development intervention.
The Rhode Island Teaching and Learning Center (RITLC) contracted with The Education Alliance to conduct an evaluation of the center's goals and activities.
The Education Alliance has provided technical assistance in implementing the recommendations of the Breaking Ranks process to transform high schools. Through site-based coaches, this project has provided professional development to staff of high-poverty, low-performing secondary schools. The aim has been to support schools in changing their structures, cultures, and instructional content to increase student academic achievement, attendance, and high school graduation rates.
This project was a multi-site research project aimed at understanding how teachers who belong to study groups use on-line information and communication to build knowledge and support each other's work, improve instruction for diverse learners, and sustain the group for continued professional growth. This project built on findings from a previous research project on implementing standards in culturally diverse schools, and it used products developed by that project.
Support for Professional Learning focuses on developing tools and strategies for professional learning and addressing regional issues related to the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. Our development work aims to provide high-quality opportunities for professional development in key content areas, such as adolescent literacy, elementary mathematics, and early foreign language study, with a focus on creating effective technology-based environments to support professional learning.
The Teacher’s Guide to Diversity Workshops present a professional development curriculum designed to build knowledge and skills that will enable teachers to respond constructively to the diversity in our schools and society. The curriculum is based on current research from several disciplines and engages participants with activities and opportunities for reflection to deepen their understanding of diversity issues in education.
School districts in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York along with the Southeastern Massachusetts Teaching American History Consortium, contracted individually with The Education Alliance to conduct evaluations of their Teaching American History programs.
Voices from the Field was an online periodical produced from the Fall of 1999 through the Spring of 2002. The purpose of this free publication was to present issues from the perspectives of teachers experiencing change, challenges, and growth as education reform took shape. It was fully written and edited by public school teachers in the region.
Web site: /pubs/voices
Johns Hopkins University contracted with The Education Alliance to evaluate the implementation and impact of the "What is Engineering?" course in two sites associated with the MESA (Math, Engineering and Science Achievement) program.