Following a recent AYPF study tour on Deeper Learning, many participants wanted to know more about how states are using professional networks to scale deeper learning efforts. This webinar highlighted the work being done in three states: Kentucky, Arkansas, and Idaho.
Through this discussion we plan on contributing to the thoughtful conversations necessary to provide deeper learning experiences for more students.
Kristina Catanese, Office of Continuous Improvement, Kentucky Department of Education, will share about the work in Kentucky. The Kentucky Innovation Lab Network invites districts to a year-long membership, and works each year with about 30 districts. These districts are supported through convenings and professional development. Listen out for the various formats they have experimented with, as well as new initiatives they are exploring, for example having administrator and teacher tracks during convenings, with these professionals leading activities for their peers.
In Arkansas, Denise Airola, Director of Innovation for Education, University of Arkansas, and Crystal Beshears, Learning Design and Innovation Leader, Office of Innovation for Education, University of Arkansas, are working alongside the Arkansas Department of Education to support district networks. They will share about the work currently underway in NW Arkansas (including utilizing their Plan, Do, Act cycles of inquiry), how recent learning from a study tour to New Zealand is infusing their work, and ways they are making this work possible with limited funding. They emphasize the importance of using common language, and will highlight areas, such as rural schools, and skills, such as deep listening, that require greater attention.
In Idaho, the work of scaling deeper learning is being pursued through Idaho’s Mastery Education Network. Kelly Brady, Director of Mastery Education, Idaho State Department of Education, will discuss the establishment and aims of this network that works to promote Mastery Education in the state. A key element is the recognition that districts are at various levels of readiness, and have to be met where they are. Kelly will address the challenges of building capacity to support these networks and contending with the dual system of education (Mastery and traditional grading). She will also examine considerations for improvement, such as issues of reporting, credits, graduation requirements, and funding. Teacher certification also requires attention.