Strengthen Instruction


The Art Matters thematic curriculum offers students a project-based introduction to four key areas (or domains) of the arts: dance, music, theater, and visual arts. This course provides a firm foundation for students entering a visual and/or performing arts small learning community or other theme-based learning opportunity – and was designed to give students a common language and broad...

Institute for Research and Reform in Education

Summary of Professional Development, Technical Supports and Costs

Connell, James P., Klem, Adena M., Broom, Julie M., Kenney, Mark, with contributions by McLaughlin, Milbrey, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education

The aim of “Going Small” is to demonstrate how small personalized learning communities provide an optimal platform for the most important elements of effective professional development.  Following a review of the most current research on professional development practice, the authors extract a list of five characteristics of high quality professional development: sufficient time, shared...

Connell, J. P. & Broom, J., Institute for Research and Reform in Education

In this report, the authors briefly review the history of First Things First’s evolving approach to helping schools improve teaching and learning. “Toughest Nut to Crack” then answers the question “what does good teaching and learning look like?” by introducing and defining three core instructional goals: engagement, alignment, and rigor.  The specific sets of instructional supports offered by...

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