One of Lead by Learning's key practices is using data to make the learner's experience visible. In this article, Lead by Learning explains that "by engaging our students and creating space to listen to them, we are not only building our own awareness, which is essential to equity, but creating a learning environment that is student centered."
Our core practice of Public Learning was recently featured in Edutopia, in "A Strategy Teachers Can Use to Learn Together." In this article, Nina Portugal, Program Associate at Lead by Learning, explains, "Unlike the typical teacher presentations that highlight best practices or share perfect pieces of student work, public learning is a structure that spotlights the messy but productive thinking that guides educators to those best practices."
Adaptive expertise is a key outcome of teacher led inquiry and one that is featured in "Getting to 100% student engagement in distance learning." In this article, Jessie Welcomer, a teacher scholar at Montalvin Manor K-8, explains, "Teachers are adapting to this new form of education at a rapid pace, and collaborating with one another benefits all of us. My school has partnered with Mills Teacher Scholars in order to facilitate rich collaboration during both in person and distance learning."
Entering into summer after an abrupt transition to distance learning in the Spring of 2020, Lead by Learning Executive Director Carrie Wilson's article "What Comes Next for Professional Learning in the Time of COVID-19: Addressing the Social and Emotional Work of Improvement" discusses setting the conditions for adult learning to support improvement for student outcomes. Wilson reminds us that "Now is the time to give attention to the social and emotional capacities and conditions that make adult learning and improvement possible.
Our partnership with Oakland Unified's Social and Emotional Learning Department was recently featured in Edweek, in "Teachers Weave Social-Emotional Learning Into Academics." In this article, Carrie Wilson, Executive Director of Mills Teacher Scholars, explains, "Our theory of action is that in order for adults, teachers, and principals to be able to provide certain types of learning experiences for students, they have to be able to have those experiences themselves."
Our partnership with OUSD's New Highland Academy was featured in Educational Leadership Magazine, with a focus on how we support our teacher leaders' capacity to lead and sustain collaborative inquiry with their colleagues. This article poses the question: "How are teachers constructing their roles as leaders in schools today? One popular model is to identify certain teachers as particularly successful, and then have others learn from them. But there is another way, a way that looks at leadership as a quality that we all have and can develop."
Mills Teacher Scholars is excited that one of our partner sites, Burbank Early Childhood Center, is featured in a chapter of a recent book by Mills College School of Education professor Linda R. Kroll and San Francisco State University Professor of Elementary Education Daniel R. Meier. Compiling underrepresented inquiry stories from practicing teachers and administrators in early childhood (0-5) classrooms in the San Francisco Bay Area, this book highlights the power of the community in supporting professional development for early childhood educators and the education of young children. Important elements addressed include teacher learning, children’s curricula, parent and community communication, and equity and social justice for teachers, children, and families.
Mills Teacher Scholars and our participating teachers are proud to have presented our work at the following convenings: American Education Research Association, National Science Foundation, Bay Area Writing Project, The Collaborative on Academic and Social Emotional Learning, New Teacher Center, Teachers for Social Justice, California School Library Association, Inventing our Futures, Grant Makers for Education, Bay Area Science Project, and the Urban Teacher Education Consortium
In partnership with Mills Teacher Scholars, a cross-district group of OUSD teachers of newcomer English Learners used collaborative inquiry to support their students in developing their academic language. This Teaching Channel video shows how Mills Teacher Scholars supported these teachers to interrogate multiple sources of classroom data that made their students' learning visible. Over time, they developed an inquiry stance and learned to derive their own solutions to problems of practice.