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We understand that teaching is a critically important, complex and intellectually challenging endeavor. We also recognize that learning to teach well requires time, sustained effort, and ongoing support and development throughout a teacher’s career. To assist with that development, the Knowles Teaching Fellows Program is divided into two phases, with each phase building on the next. Two key leadership development threads run through all five years of the program: practitioner inquiry and community-building.

Knowles Teaching Fellowship Benefits

Financial Support

Knowles Fellows may be awarded grants to cover expenses associated with purchasing classroom materials and engaging in professional development. Additionally, Fellows may receive grants to develop and execute leadership activities that have an impact beyond their own classrooms.

Fellows may choose to use approximately half of their allocated funds for annual stipends. These stipends are intended to help Fellows reduce debts they may have incurred and the financial burden teachers often bear—both of which are factors that contribute to sustainability in the profession. Stipends can also be used to support Fellows financially during summer months, allowing them to concentrate on reflecting on the past year, preparing for the coming year and professional development, instead of taking on a part-time job.

The amount allocated to each Fellow for grants and stipends may change on an annual basis.

Mentoring & Coaching

We value the expertise and knowledge of experienced teachers, which is why we make sure Fellows have access to them throughout the Fellowship. Our Teaching Fellows program staff, with more than 100 years of collective teaching experience, regularly checks in with Fellows, supports them to plan and reflect on instruction, talks them through challenging professional dilemmas, and supports them through personal challenges. Staff also observe Fellows teach, either virtually or in person, and coach them into improvement that is Fellow directed.

As a complement to our staff, veteran teachers with over 20 years of experience as both teachers and teacher leaders also work with Fellows throughout the five years of the program. These veteran teachers attend meetings, support Fellows in their inquiry work, and provide Fellows with a vision of what it means to be a true master teacher.

Community Membership

Knowles Fellows are able to tap into a support network of more than 500 teachers who are committed to improving education. From in-person conversations that take place at meetings to virtual conversations that take place on our online community, being part of the Knowles network means resources and support from a wide range of innovative and committed professional teachers is always available.

By The Numbers

Fellowships Annually

Approximately 35 Teaching Fellowships are awarded annually to early-career high school math and science teachers.
Total Fellows

As of 2021, the Knowles network is made up of 441 Fellows teaching in 44 states, including the District of Columbia.
Fellowship Value

The five-year Knowles Teaching Fellowship is valued at over $150,000.
Hours of PD

Knowles Fellows engage in nearly 100 hours of professional development each year.

Teaching Fellowship Phases

Years 1, 2 & 3

During the first two years of the program, Fellows reflect on and deepen their own math or science knowledge, develop the specialized forms of content knowledge needed for teaching, and use that knowledge to create powerful learning opportunities for students. While focusing on these areas, Fellows are also supported in becoming a community of inquiry that engages with and as critical friends. This emphasis on inquiry with others serves as the foundation for teachers leading from the classroom. In the third year of the program, Fellows come to understand the influence of identity on each student’s learning and increase their ability to teach in ways that account for students’ varied strengths. In these initial three years, the overall goal is for Fellows to understand and improve learning opportunities for all of their students.

Years 4 & 5

In the fourth year of the program, Fellows learn increasingly sophisticated ways to examine their teaching, classroom culture and student learning using many kinds of data, and they explore ways to collaborate with school colleagues as co-inquirers. In the final year of the program, the focus of inquiry shifts from a Fellow’s classroom to the professional community in which they work, as they grapple with their own professional goals and commitments and what it means for them to lead in their specific teaching context. Across these two years, Fellows deepen their understanding of their classroom, school and local community as systems, understand multiple leverage points for change, and experiment with ways to lead their classrooms and communities toward better outcomes.


Senior Fellows Program

After completing the fifth year of the Fellowship, Teaching Fellows become Senior Fellows. Through the Senior Fellows Program, Senior Fellows have the opportunity to remain involved in the Knowles community throughout their careers and be supported in ongoing leadership efforts.

We’re looking for individuals with the potential to develop:

Content Knowledge for Teaching

The Knowles Teacher Initiative seeks Fellowship candidates who have exceptional content knowledge in the area they intend to teach and who also have the capacity and drive to develop the specialized content knowledge needed to carry out the work of teaching.

Exemplary Teaching Practices

The Knowles Teacher Initiative seeks Fellowship candidates who understand that teaching is highly complex, intellectually challenging work and recognize that, regardless of other experiences they may have had, it will take them considerable time and effort to become outstanding teachers.

Qualities of a Teacher Leader

The Knowles Teacher Initiative seeks Fellowship candidates who have the potential to become leaders who serve as agents of educational improvement for their students within their classrooms, schools, communities, and the profession.