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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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From Blab to Lab! How to Leverage Engineering Design for Increased Student Engagement in Science Labs


Through this Knowles Academy online short course, teachers will learn how their existing science labs can take center stage in engineering design challenges.

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Exploring the Science Practice of Mathematical Thinking to Deepen Physics Understanding


Through this Knowles Academy online short course, teachers will gain an overview of the Patterns Approach to physics, experience a Patterns-type lesson, and discuss how the Patterns Approach could be implemented in their classroom.

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Rev Up Your Engineering Integration with the Knowles Project Complexity Rubric


Through this Knowles Academy online course, teachers will learn to differentiate their engineering design instruction using a continuum of student-centricity and complexity.

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Exploring Student Work to Build an Understanding of Student Engagement in Science Practices


Through this Knowles Academy online short course, teachers will explore student work to build a better understanding of how students analyze and interpret data, and engage in argument from evidence to construct an explanation of a phenomenon.

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Exploring a Phenomenon Through the Practices of Science


Through this Knowles Academy online short course, teachers will explore a phenomenon to develop an understanding of how the practices of questioning, modeling, and data analysis support students in building content knowledge.

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Project Planning Pyramid - A Framework for Rigorous Math & Science Projects


Through this Knowles Academy online short course, teachers will learn about the Project Planning Pyramid Framework, a tool developed to strengthen the disciplinary content and practices present in projects, in order to help support all students in accessing rigorous math and science through your project-based learning courses.  

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Actionable Norms for Effective Group Work


Through this Knowles Academy online short course, teachers will learn strategies and principles for establishing a classroom culture of effective and meaningful student collaboration through the clear and intentional setting of actionable norms.

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Equitable Group Work


Through this Knowles Academy online short course, teachers will learn how to leverage group work to give students access to more learning opportunities. 

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Project-Based Learning Basics


Through this Knowles Academy online short course, teachers will learn about some of the basics of project-based learning, such as entry events, end products, checkpoints, and other core components. 

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