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The Knowles Academy offers state-of-the-art professional development experiences for teachers. All Academy courses are designed and facilitated by experienced teachers who understand the complexities of teaching in today's world. All courses include one semester or year of mentoring to assist teachers as they work to successfully implement what they've learned in their own classrooms. Participation in the Knowles Academy also gives teachers access to a national network of educators who share resources and ideas, and support each other to continually improve their teaching practice.

Key Knowles Academy Features

Teachers Supporting Teachers

Teachers learn best from other teachers. All professional development that we provide includes experienced teachers as facilitators and coaches.

Professional Community Development

Teaching can be isolating. All of our professional development services are designed to build teacher community so that participants can continue to support each other’s learning and professional growth long after the professional development experience ends.

Long-term Support for Sustainable Change

Effective teacher professional development must be sustained and tied to classroom practice. All Knowles Academy courses include long-term support from coaches, opportunities for teachers to ground their learning in their current practice, and engage with other Knowles Academy participants over an extended period.

Professional Expertise & Leadership

Designing and implementing effective professional development requires a diverse range of expertise and experience. All of our professional development services draw and build on the expertise developed within the Knowles community over the last 20 years.

Knowles Academy Courses

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The way mathematics is woven into the curriculum actually makes physics concepts more accessible, especially for students who have previously struggled with math. The training itself was enjoyable because the curriculum is fun, and I believe [the] Patterns [Approach to] physics will be accessible, enjoyable, and educational for my students.”

-Jesse Braxton, Physical Science Teacher, The Workshop School, Philadelphia, PA

Physics for the Next Generation: The Patterns Approach

Through this Knowles Academy course, physics teachers will engage in an innovative approach to teaching physics that integrates project-based learning, modeling, and the science and engineering practices. The essential question that drives the approach is: “How do we find and use patterns in nature to predict the future and understand the past?”

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I really felt I got so much out of the workshop and am excited to implement ideas in my classroom next year. I felt I walked away with a deeper understanding of the engineering design process and much more confidence and skills in using the engineering design process in my science classroom.”

-Shannon Morey, Physics and Computer Science Teacher, Abbott Lawrence Academy, Lawrence, MA

Engaging Math and Science Students in Engineering Design

Through this Knowles Academy course, teachers will learn to use engineering design to teach students math and/or science content, and inspire and equip them to solve real-world problems.

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The math tasks course has been truly wonderful and eye opening in the sense that it provided me with tasks that are so much more motivating, [including] high-level type thinking problems for the students. I'm really looking forward to implementing these tasks to give the students more opportunity to access high-level thinking and use those skills."

-Kristen Elliott, Math Teacher, William Allen Middle School, Moorestown, NJ

Designing Instructional Tasks to Increase Student Engagement and Learning in Math

Through this Knowles Academy course, math teachers will work in small, collaborative groups as they learn to provide increased opportunities for their students to learn by increasing their use of high cognitive demand tasks in their classroom.

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Attending the Knowles Academy science tasks course reaffirmed my belief that all students can do cognitively demanding tasks, regardless of where they are with the curriculum. In addition to scaffolding, which I’ve done well in the past, I’m adding more cognitively demanding tasks to my lessons. My students are much more engaged because they are able to apply the knowledge they’ve gained to figure out something on their own.”

-Leslee Gordon, Biology Teacher, Wando High School, Mount Pleasant, SC

Designing Instructional Tasks to Increase Student Engagement and Learning in Science

Through this Knowles Academy course, science teachers will work in small, collaborative groups as they learn to increase the cognitive demand of their lessons and provide more opportunities for students to talk about science—tactics that lead to an increase in student engagement.

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The opportunity to learn about equity was incredibly valuable in supporting my thinking on a deeper level and giving me strategies to support and analyze equity/access in my classroom.”

-Carly Brown, Earth Science Teacher, Harwood Union High School, Moretown, VT

Using Effective Group Work to Maximize Learning for All Students

Through this Knowles Academy course, teachers will be introduced to Complex Instruction, an instructional strategy that emerged from the field of mathematics education. Complex Instruction promotes an equitable classroom culture through the development of high cognitive demand tasks that allow students of all abilities to contribute, group work structures and teacher moves that disrupt traditional participation patterns, and techniques that help teachers develop classroom norms that promote participation and learning for all students.

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The Knowles Academy course on coaching inspired me to try coaching with a couple of teachers in my district, even though my position lacks the capacity to fully implement teacher coaching. I am also advocating for a way to increase teachers’ access to coaching within our district (e.g., by training more of our teacher leaders to be coaches).”

-Zenas Lee, Biology Teacher, Homestead High School, Cupertino, CA

Implementing Teacher Coaching to Improve Classroom Practice and Student Learning

Through this Knowles Academy course, teachers and school leaders will learn about different coaching techniques and how to apply them to bring about meaningful growth.

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This course really filled in some of the gaps in my own knowledge in regard to story-line driven unit design [that is] grounded in phenomena. The work time with other teachers allowed me to really think about phenomena worth studying and how to sequence tasks that focus on NGSS science practices.”

-Brianna Fagan, Chemistry Teacher, Mount Pleasant High School, Providence, RI

Designing Lesson Sequences to Increase Student Engagement in Science Practices

Through this Knowles Academy course, science teachers will work in small collaborative groups as they learn to increase student engagement in science practices. Teachers will learn how to sequence lessons and revise their current curriculum to provide opportunities for students to build disciplinary knowledge that is the target of instruction.

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