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This past year TASS consultants, Bill Rich, Wendy Cohen & Val Gardner, offered a very successful series of WORKshops focused on applying principles of neuroscience to the practical implementation of standards-based learning. The topics covered included developing learning targets, using performance tasks, instituting standards-based grading and utilizing management tools to keep it all together.
Individuals and teams who attended experienced learning opportunities that were designed around the very principles from education neuroscience that formed the content of the series. They assessed their level of learning using learning scales, set goals and measured their progress. Participants devoted considerable time working with the concepts to further their understanding and practiced applying the principles to their own work with the support of Bill, Val and Wendy and others in the room. They were able to share their work, get their questions answered, see the work of others and get feedback on their efforts.
Participants worked with the teams they came with or with other participants to experience collaborative application of the principles. They were given access to resources and models that they could use during the session and in the future. Not only was the content aimed at the practical issues facing educators implementing the Common Core and other sets of standards but they were able to experience the concepts in action applied to their own learning and work.
Based on this year’s success TASS will be offering this series again in 2014-2015. WORKshops may be taken individually, as a series or as a graduate course. More details will be coming soon on how to register for these exciting and different sessions that will help educators put their ideas to work and reach their goals for the year.
TASS (Teaching All Secondary Students) is the VT-HEC program that supports middle and high schools in their efforts to improve outcomes for all students utilizing the best from research on the brain and learning, education and systems change. TASS works to offer schools a comprehensive and coherent approach to implementing standards-based learning and improving outcomes for all students. TASS can deliver a tailored array of coaching and consultation to teachers and leaders as well as embedded professional learning opportunities designed specially for individual schools. In addition, TASS offers a variety of learning opportunities that are open to all but built on the same foundation and research. TASS has an impressive team of experts who can meet most any school or professional learning need – all based on the same values and principles of learning.
VT-HEC’s WORKshops are special learning opportunities designed to put into practice what we know from neuroscience about effective learning design to better ensure the content of the session is applied in the school setting. Each session will present some key concepts on the topic that is the focus of the day along with examples and models of application of the concepts. Participants assess their current status, set goals for their learning and mark their progress using tools consistent with the principles being covered. At least half the day is devoted to the participants applying the principles to their own work situation along with their colleagues. Support will be available from the presenters and other participants who have had experience with the work. Participants get feedback and support on taking their work farther and, if they are taking the WORKshop as part of a course, they will get continued support in putting their new knowledge and skills into practice in their own settings.
Can a standards-based approach to education actually work in today’s schools? Using Neuroscience to Make Standards Work for ALL Students is a new series of four workshops that address real-life issues encountered when implementing a standards-based learning approach, such as crafting student-friendly learning targets; designing performance tasks that get students excited about practice; making the transition to standards-based grading and using data management tools to make standards doable for teachers and students. The series is being designed and presented by: Bill Rich, Susie Girardin & Wendy Cohen.
The roll out of the Common Core, new science standards and new assessments have set significant challenges for education across the nation, but teachers in real-world Vermont classrooms need to figure out how the new standards and assessments will actually work with all their students, their curriculum and grading system and any school-wide standards that already exist in their schools.
To help teachers work through such practical questions, the Teaching All Secondary Students (TASS) program of the VT-HEC is developing an annual series of workshops and courses. TASS has been working in VT middle and high schools for the past eight years to support their efforts to improve by applying the best research findings from neuroscience and education. It is this knowledge, experience and expertise that will go into the design of these new learning opportunities.
The workshops can be taken individually or together as a three credit course. You won’t want to miss these days. To find out more go to: https://www.vthec.org/documents/2013/11/standards-based-learning.pdf
Mailing Address: PO Box 285, Montpelier, VT 05601
Phone: (802) 498-3350
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