Partnership brings ‘Next Generation’ science into Seattle classrooms

Science teaching with elementary students
Oct 6 2017

The town of Faraday has a problem.

Its citizens are interested in building a magnetic train to make it easier to connect with other towns, but they need to figure out how to make the technology work.

That’s where the town’s scientists—in this case a group of two dozen Seattle 3rd, 4th and 5th graders enrolled in a summer learning program in the Beacon Hill neighborhood—come in.

It’s their job to collect evidence about how magnets work, determine whether the technology could be used to power a train and then explain their findings to the citizens of Faraday.

Teacher leader brings equity into the classroom

Ryan Mateo Sharnbroich
Sep 7 2017

Sixth-grade teacher Ryan Mateo Sharnbroich has one goal for the first day of school: to make sure his students know they are welcomed and understood in his classroom. Sharnbroich, who is pursuing his Master of Education in Instructional Leadership, is laying the foundation to embrace difficult and sensitive conversations about equity and difference with his students later in the year.

Taking on teaching for social justice

EduDesign Lab 2017
Aug 15 2017

For elementary teachers, it’s an increasingly tricky question to contend with: How to address immigration, race, gender identity and other social justice issues that touch the lives and futures of their students?

Even as public schools in the United States grow more diverse and systemic inequities continue to impact the quality of education available to students, educators rarely have time to authentically work together on how to address those issues of inequity in their teaching.

Improving practice, inspiring growth

Summer Leadership Institute
Jul 20 2017

For several years, Stacy Thomas (EdD ‘15) and her colleagues at Blaine School District watched with concern as approximately half of 3rd graders weren’t able to read at their grade level.

“Our scores district-wide had been hovering in that range for quite some time, and there were indications it seemed to be getting worse,” said Thomas, the district’s executive director of teaching and learning.

Building community in the teaching profession

Elzena McVicar
Jul 17 2017

Growing up in New Orleans, Elzena McVicar (MIT ‘10) was surrounded by a family filled with teachers. Years of family conversations about education convinced McVicar that teaching was not for her.

While working on her bachelor's degree in anthropology, however, McVicar took a work study job as a tutor. Then, after graduating from college, she found herself working in an elementary school as an AmeriCorps volunteer. These two experiences changed McVicar’s perceptions of education, ultimately leading her in a new professional direction.

Connecting learning with making

Virtual reality 3D painting
Jul 13 2017

When Luke Reichley was in elementary school 20-odd years ago, paint and clay were his primary tools for making.

While children have long used their imaginations to create toys and art from whatever is at hand, digital technologies are opening new opportunities for educators to bring making into their classrooms. This summer, Reichley and his fellow elementary teacher candidates at the University of Washington College of Education are experiencing a glimpse into that future.

Learning gardens aim to grow student engagement in science

Students at learning garden.
Jul 12 2017

Despite the growing awareness of socio-ecological challenges facing humans in the 21st century, science learning still mostly takes place inside the classroom, disconnected from the natural world.

Rethinking social justice teaching

Lisa Sibbett
Jul 6 2017

While working as a high school English teacher, Lisa Sibbett (PhD ‘18) became aware of a disconnect between social justice-focused teaching and its real-world application.

AERA Highlight: Cultural flexibility and “Theatre of the Oppressed”

Theater of the oppressed presentation at AERA
May 18 2017

During her 10-year career as a teacher at a Seattle public high school, Sooz Stahl has watched as its student population has steadily grown less diverse, a direct result of a 2007 Supreme Court decision that found that SPS’s efforts to diversify school demographics by race was unconstitutional.

Want new teachers to stay? Invest in mentoring, study says

Teacher mentorship
May 11 2017

As public schools in Washington and other states across the country contend with teacher shortages in some areas and an influx of first-time teachers, a new study from the University of Washington College of Education provides evidence that mentorship matters in retaining beginning teachers.