By Mai P. Tran, ECMC Foundation
Manhattan's sister borough got a visit from 46 public school leaders across the country this week. Bagels and pizza are top-notch in Brooklyn, but that's not what the buzz was about among the group. All of them, members of Cohorts 2 and 3 of the Deeper Learning Equity Fellows, instead talked about deeper learning, 21st century skills and equity.
Cohort members, also called "Equity Fellows," convened to discuss pervasive equity issues in their school districts and their ideas to address them.
The convening is one part of the fellowship program run jointly by Big Picture Learning and the Internationals Network for Public Schools. This week's gathering in Brooklyn marked the official launch of fellowship's third cohort, announced earlier this year.
In the many underrepresented, low-income school districts where the fellows work, deeper learning instructional methods aren't prioritized. The fellowship seeks to address this and also primes leaders to spread deeper learning instruction and address gaps in their districts.
An evidence-based practice, deeper learning instruction prepares students for college and career by integrating the mastery of academic content with the development of key competencies, such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and effective communication, in real-world contexts.
The fellowship provides mentors and coaches for fellows, who are tasked with designing and implementing a deeper learning capstone project. Throughout the 24 months of the program, fellows receive guidance on their project and attend three convenings that bring them together to exchange ideas and share knowledge.
In addition to attending workshops and collaborating in break-out sessions this week, the fellows also visited deeper learning schools in New York City to observe student learning and deeper learning instructional practices.
Both cohorts are supported by ECMC Foundation. Cohort 2 is supported with funding from ECMC Foundation along with Hewlett Foundation; Cohort 3 is supported solely by ECMC Foundation.
Learn more about the Deeper Learning Equity Fellows program.