Teacher Preparation

MIT Partners with Woodrow Wilson Foundation To Remake Educator Prep

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Office of Digital Learning (ODL) has partnered with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation on an initiative designed to support teachers in the use of digital learning tools and environments.

With a particular emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the collaboration "will promote new ideas, technologies and curricula along with research related to educator preparation" according to a news release.

The partnership will bring together the Woodrow Wilson Academy for Teaching and Learning (WW Academy) and ODL's MIT PK12 Initiative, a research effort initially launched with $9.9 million in funding from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

With the goal of changing educator preparation in the United States, the WW Academy will act as an outlet for the work from the MIT PK12 Initiative to be put into practice was it launches a teacher prep program followed by a school leadership prep program. Both will feature blended learning modules, simulations, clinical experiences and multilayered assessments.

"As we transition from a national, analog, industrial economy to a global, digital information economy it is essential that all of our institutions, particularly those in education, adapt," Woodrow Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine said in a prepared statement. "Through the WW Academy, we seek to transform the existing model of teacher and school leader education by focusing on the competencies, content mastery, assessments, and technologies that are necessary for success. As we chart a new course for educator preparation, we can think of no stronger partner than MIT."

"Hands-on, problem-focused, curiosity-driven learning is squarely at the heart of an MIT education, and it will be central to MIT's work with the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Together, we will combine MIT's 'mind and hand' approach to learning with recent breakthroughs in cognitive science and digital learning to inform the Woodrow Wilson Foundation's efforts to develop and support excellent STEM teachers and school leaders," said MIT President L. Rafael Reif in a news release. "We are thrilled to begin this effort to reimagine the classroom experience."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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