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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 15 years.

Knowles Academy Courses

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“We had teachers walk out saying it was the best professional development they had ever had.”

-Dr. Susan Holveck, Science TOSA for Secondary Schools, Beaverton School District

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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"Learning about how to incorporate high cognitive demand tasks that challenged my students but also allowed them to talk through their thinking was a powerful improvement in my classroom. Knowles showed me how to transition theory to action by providing the research and then strong examples of their use within a math classroom that was similar to mine."

-Riley Germanis, Math Teacher, Decatur High School, Federal Way, WA

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 increase the cognitive demand of their lessons and provide more opportunities for students to talk about mathematics—tactics that lead to an increase in student engagement.

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“Following my Knowles training on task design, I have kept the spirit of high cognitive demand in my tasks. I now have a better perspective on what makes a task cognitively demanding, and what kinds of scaffolds I need to get my students there.”

-Emily Berman, Chemistry and Environmental Science Teacher, Blackstone Academy Charter School, Pawtucket, RI

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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"Our inquiry work was expertly structured such that I walked away with a clear vision of my next steps, renewed enthusiasm for my inquiry work, and supports in place to maintain accountability."

-Adrian Cheng, Chemistry and Physics Teacher, Bellarmine College Prep, San Jose, CA

Knowledge Generation for the Teaching Profession: An Introduction to Practitioner Inquiry


Through this Knowles Academy course, teachers will learn how to use a systematic process of inquiry to better understand and ultimately improve their teaching practice.

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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

Establishing an Equitable Classroom Culture: An Introduction to Complex Instruction for Science Teachers


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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