Racial Equity and Student Centered Learning: Applying a Community-Informed Racial Equity Lens to Student-Centered Learning

This report examines how racial equity strategies and student-centered learning practices could be integrated to combat racism and racial inequities in education. It delves into racial equity issues as described by community stakeholders, exploring issues such as a lack of diversity in school staff, inequitable student disciplinary processes, and more. The report then goes on to summarize themes in responses to the student-centered learning framework as a strategy for racial equity in education. Finally, the report concludes by summarizing the findings from Phase 1 of the Racial Equity and Student-Centered Learning Project and by setting up questions for Phase 2.

The Better Math Teaching Network: Lessons Learned from Year 3

This report presents key lessons from the third year of the Better Math Teaching Network (BMTN), a networked improvement community aimed at improving student-centered instructional practices. As a networked improvement community, BMTN educators use a collaborative work approach and quick-cycle testing to refine instructional routines, adjusting and adapting to the results of their work as needed. This report dives into how these educators were able to test change ideas over the course of the 2018-19 school year, and key findings related to the importance of network-created publications, the Network’s success in engaging students, and more.

Better Math Teaching Network Year 2 publications

This collection of research reports focuses on the findings and data from the second year of the Better Math Teaching Network, including a summary of years one and two, a developmental report on year two, and lessons learned from year two. The reports highlight a continued high engagement level from teachers, increased opportunities for student engagement, continued deepening of student-centered instruction and overall progress made towards the Better Math Teaching Network’s aim. In addition, the reports uplift the importance of experienced Network teachers as key to sharing the work of the network and accelerating the progress of newer Network teachers.

Youth Leadership Institute Evaluation Report

This evaluation report explores the evolution of the Youth Leadership Institute (YLI), an annual convening of youth leaders, youth organizers, adult allies, and educators from across New England. The report closely examines the first several years of YLI, tracking its growth and challenges through the eyes of youth, adult allies, and Nellie Mae staff. The end of the report presents findings from the evolution of YLI, including lessons on convening youth-led meetings, fostering youth-adult partnerships, and how funders can support youth voices.

YLI is about the relationships that are developed across organizations and across individual young people. The relationships and solidarity in this work have grown every year. For example, we now see a group in Boston and one in Maine working on the same thing. It is about nurturing the relationships formed at YLI and beyond.

Testing Change Ideas in Real Time

This report summarizes the practices and findings of the pilot year of Student-Centered Assessment Network (SCAN), which used real-time testing to determine effective and engaging classroom assessment practices for students. Data gathered through quality assessment can be used by teachers to support their students’ needs, as well as by students themselves to take ownership of their learning. This report covers some of the major shifts in classroom practice teachers saw as a result of participation in SCAN, as well as some of the challenges in shifting towards more student-centered assessment practices. The end of the report delves into some of the adjustments suggested to refine future versions of the network

Formative assessment… it’s really powerful... you can see who is really prepared, who has knowledge, or is motivated... You can set up your instruction in a better, more efficient way.

Teaching and Learning with Technology in Linguistically Diverse Classrooms

We know that English Learner (EL) students are an incredibly diverse group, and that meeting their needs requires an understanding of how differences in teaching and learning styles affect their language and content learning in classrooms. This exploratory study examines how teaching practices in technology-enhanced classrooms relate to the learning experiences and outcomes (both language and content) of diverse adolescent English learner students.

The study explores questions including:

-What features of technology-enhanced classrooms support language and content learning for EL students?
-How do student learning practices (e.g., student participation and student talk) exemplify classroom features associated with positive educational outcomes and experiences for EL students?
-What EL student characteristics mediate associations between features of technology-enhanced classrooms and language and content learning outcomes?
-How do diverse EL students experience technology as part of their learning?

This school provides a lot of subjects and it has technology …. In my old school we only had one room that had technology in it.

Student-Centered Learning Continuum

The Nellie Mae team has been working hand in hand with teachers, school leaders, and researchers to develop a set of criteria that detail the characteristics of high-quality, student-centered learning in classrooms, schools, and districts — a Student-Centered Learning (SCL) Continuum.
 

This tool is the result of eight years of work focused on student-centered learning, and our hope is for the SCL Continuum to be a living document, updated over time based on the input of practitioners who are working to champion student-centered practices every day. 

In addition to the attached PDF, an interactive version of the Continuum is available here.

Because every context is different, we don’t believe there is a purposeful path every learning environment needs to follow to high-level SCL; progressions towards SCL are more fluid in practice.

Building Power: One Foundation’s Story of Funding Grassroots Organizing and Engagement

In 2014, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation began funding three projects that together comprise the Grassroots Portfolio: Civic and Family Engagement, Community Organizing, and Amplifying Student Voice and Leadership. This work was part of the Public Understanding and Demand component of NMEF’s grantmaking strategy.

Following a Foundation-wide equity assessment in 2017, and a review of the Foundation’s strategy, NMEF commissioned Algorhythm to examine its Public Understanding and Demand evaluation and grantmaking documents, with the ultimate goal of helping NMEF better understand its role in the grassroots organizing and engagement work. This brief explores NMEF’s journey in funding the Grassroots Portfolio and shares lessons learned.

I realized that I have a voice for my children and nobody is going to stop me from advocating for them.

Teaching and Learning with Technology in Linguistically Diverse Classrooms Copy

We know that English Learner (EL) students are an incredibly diverse group, and that meeting their needs requires an understanding of how differences in teaching and learning styles affect their language and content learning in classrooms. This exploratory study examines how teaching practices in technology-enhanced classrooms relate to the learning experiences and outcomes (both language and content) of diverse adolescent English learner students.

The study explores questions including:

-What features of technology-enhanced classrooms support language and content learning for EL students?
-How do student learning practices (e.g., student participation and student talk) exemplify classroom features associated with positive educational outcomes and experiences for EL students?
-What EL student characteristics mediate associations between features of technology-enhanced classrooms and language and content learning outcomes?
-How do diverse EL students experience technology as part of their learning?

This school provides a lot of subjects and it has technology …. In my old school we only had one room that had technology in it.

The Better Math Teaching Network Year One: Developmental Evaluation Report

Partners for Network Improvement (PNI) at University of Pittsburgh

This report provides a descriptive and analytic portrait of the Better Math Teaching Network’s first year of operation using data including:

-Observations of whole- and small-group network meetings,
-Interviews with participating teachers conducted at multiple time points throughout the year,
-Teachers’ responses to a survey designed to measure teachers’experiences with key features of the NIC concept,
-Analysis of teachers’ formal and informal connections to one another that are facilitated by the network,
-Documentation teachers generate through their improvement cycles,
-Classroom observations and follow-up interviews with a small sample of teachers.

The Better Math Teaching Network aimed to harness the problem-solving power of networks in pursuit of more student-centered teaching and learning.