2016 Annual Report - Knowles Teacher Initiative

From Executive Director Nicole Gillespie

March 1, 2017
Dear Friends of KSTF,

The fiscal year ending May 31, 2016 (FY16) included a number of important firsts for KSTF, as well as milestones marking significant progress toward our vision of an educational system in which teachers are the primary agents of educational improvement. The format and content of this annual report is, itself, a sign of how far we’ve come and where we are heading. We hope you’ll find it engaging and intriguing, but most of all, we hope it will provide you with a clear, inspiring picture of the remarkable teachers that we’ve had the honor and privilege of supporting on their collective journey to transform math and science education in the U.S.

On May 13, 2016, we welcomed 34 new math and science teachers to the KSTF community as members of the 2016 Cohort—the 15th Cohort to begin the Teaching Fellowship Program. Although our current resources limit the number of Teaching Fellowships we can award each year, we are nonetheless committed to finding innovative ways to expand the KSTF network and scale our impact. One of the ways we are doing this is by encouraging Teaching Fellows to include colleagues in professional development activities funded through grants from KSTF. In FY16, 11 Fellows took advantage of this opportunity, and extended KSTF benefits to 11 other teachers. When Fellows extend their KSTF benefits to their colleagues, they increase the number of teachers in the KSTF network but, more importantly, they increase the odds of that professional learning taking root and flourishing in their schools.

On September 1, 2015, KSTF reached another significant milestone: for the first time, the KSTF Network was made up of approximately equal numbers of Senior Fellows who have completed the five-year Fellowship and Teaching Fellows currently in the program. As Senior Fellows continue their teaching careers (which the majority do) or transition to new roles in education and other fields, we’ve seen them apply, adapt and amplify what they learned from the Teaching Fellowship Program in ways we never anticipated. Because of this, we are continually learning from them and our Senior Fellows Program continues to evolve in response. This past year we’ve taken steps to make the Teaching and Senior Fellows Programs more of a cohesive trajectory, including placing both programs under the leadership of Jeff Rozelle as the Director of Programs.

KSTF Milestones

KSTF Fellow teaching
Founded by C. Harry & Janet H. Knowles
The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) was established by Janet H. and C. Harry Knowles in 1999 to bring about a greater understanding of science and mathematics in the United States through improved teaching and learning.
Students learning
First Teaching Fellowships are awarded
The KSTF Teaching Fellows Program, KSTF’s signature program, awards five-year Fellowships to approximately 36 early-career, secondary science and mathematics teachers annually, and supports them in their efforts to improve education in their own classrooms and beyond.
Students learning
Senior Fellows Program is launched
KSTF commits to a formal Senior Fellows Program and hires a full-time staff member to work on developing and refining the program. Our goal for the Senior Fellows Program was, and remains, to build on and leverage the leadership capacity and national network that we develop through the Teaching Fellows Program.

KSTF Impact in 2015–2016


taught mathematics and science to over

students in
schools in
of Senior Fellows

are still teaching at the high school level after completing their five-year Teaching Fellowship and another 14% are working in education in other roles

Fellows' School Locales
56% City
31% Suburbs
9% Rural
4% Town
Fellows' School
69% Public
15% Charter
10% Private
4% Other
2% Magnet

New Initiatives

New Initiatives

Beyond the Classroom

KSTF is committed to building and supporting a national network of teachers who are working to improve mathematics and science education in their classrooms and beyond. We grow our network each year by selecting a new cohort of approximately 36 Teaching Fellows. To amplify our impact beyond our Teaching and Senior Fellows, we are striving to include and influence teachers who are not directly supported by KSTF. Over the last year, we amplified our impact by funding two initiatives that support teams of leading teachers working together to solve pressing problems of practice—Project ASCENT and our engineering initiative.

New Initiatives

KSTF Launches a Networked Improvement Community

In July 2015, KSTF launched Project ASCENT (Achieving STEM Course Effectiveness Through Networked Teachers). Through Project ASCENT, KSTF intends to bring teachers’ considerable professional knowledge and skills to bear on a problem that has broad and deep consequences for the nation—too few students are successful STEM learners at the high school level. Five self-organized teams of teachers and others connected to secondary mathematics and science education were selected to participate in Project ASCENT:

  • High Tech High (San Diego County, CA)
  • Millbrook High School (Raleigh, NC.)
  • Robert E. Lee High School (Springfield, VA.)
  • Rolling Meadows High School (Rolling Meadows, IL) and
  • Westfield High School (Chantilly, VA)

New Initiatives

KSTF Brings Engineering Design to Math and Science Education

In July 2013, KSTF launched a task force to explore the integration of engineering into high school mathematics and science courses, as proposed by the Next Generation Science Standards. Over the next two years, the task force drafted a framework for engineering design and a rubric to assess project design and student work. Additionally, they piloted professional development strategies with school and district colleagues. Seeking to expand their impact on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education beyond the KSTF community, the group set out to design, pilot, and begin sharing a set of engineering resources for teachers. During fiscal year 2016, KSTF Senior Fellows led two professional development experiences for a total of 34 teachers using materials developed by the group.


Fellow Stories

Beverly Stuckwisch

A photo of Beverly Stuckwisch 2012 KSTF Teaching Fellow
3rd-year chemistry teacher
Licking Valley High School
Newark, Ohio

At the annual KSTF summer meeting, Fellows participate in and lead professional development sessions for hundreds of their colleagues. Beverly organized collaborative working groups on standards-based grading at the 2014 and 2015 KSTF summer meetings. Finding this format to be beneficial, she suggested to her principal the addition of collaborative working groups as part of the school’s end of summer professional development. In summer 2015, the district hosted a tech fair to support approximately 100 teachers in their new 1:1 student to Chromebook environment. At the tech fair, Beverly recreated the KSTF experience by leading a collaborative working group on the basics of using Google Docs and Google Drive in the classroom.


Fellow Stories

Michelle Lee

A photo of Michelle Lee 2012 KSTF Teaching Fellow
3rd-year biology teacher
Horace Mann School
New York, New York

As part of the program, Fellows explore their own teaching practice through practitioner inquiry. Seeking to recreate the KSTF experience at her school, Michelle invited colleagues to join in her in exploring inquiry and student learning as a collaborative working group. During the fall semester of the 2015–2016 school year, the group of approximately five teachers met on a monthly basis to reflect on their teaching practice, and share data and artifacts that demonstrate student learning. “That group was very helpful for me. To some extent it was just nice to take a deep breath and sit with colleagues,” shared a veteran biology teacher who participated in the collaborative working group. “It also offered a very focused opportunity to reflect on my practices and consider other’s experiences as well. It sparked conversations that continued in the office and ideas that would percolate into new approaches to teaching.”


Fellow Stories

Jeffrey Spencer

A photo of Jeffrey Spencer 2011 KSTF Teaching Fellow
6th-year chemistry teacher
Vista Peak Preparatory
Aurora, Colorado

Jeff was introduced to POGIL™(Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) through the KSTF Teaching Fellowship. Inspired by the Fellowship’s focus on teacher leadership, Jeff received a professional development grant from KSTF for he and a colleague to attend a POGIL™ Facilitator Training Workshop. After attending the workshop, the two presented the basic tenets of POGIL and how they use it in the classroom to 11 teachers at their school. Following the session, all of the chemistry and biology teachers at the school began using POGIL in their classrooms.


Fellow Stories

KD Davenport

A photo of KD Davenport KSTF Senior Fellow
9th-year biology teacher
Central High School
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In 2013, three KSTF Fellows—KD Davenport, Kirstin Milks, and Rebecca Van Tassell—received professional development grants from KSTF to fund a writing retreat. The 1.5 day retreat provided the time and space for the trio to review published articles in The American Biology Teacher, along with submission and reviewer guidelines. Additionally, the retreat provided time and space for writing sessions. By the close of the retreat they had completed drafts of of two articles to submit to the journal. In spring 2015, The American Biology Teacher published “Using Evolutionary Data in Developing Phylogenetic Trees: A Scaffolded Approach with Authentic Data” by KD Davenport, Kirstin Jane Milks, and Rebecca Van Tassell and “Investigating Tree Thinking & Ancestry with Cladograms” by KD Davenport, Kirstin Jane Milks, and Rebecca Van Tassell. During the 2015–2016 school year, KD presented two hour-long professional development workshops to approximately 25 school colleagues, including non-science teachers. The workshops were based on the activity described in the trio’s article on evolution.


Fellow Stories

John Holcomb

A photo of John Holcomb 2014 KSTF Teaching Fellow
2nd-year chemistry teacher
ASPIRA Early College High School
Chicago, Illinois

Four KSTF Fellows—Carly Brown, Tim Ellis, John Holcomb and Michelle Vanhala—received professional development grants from KSTF to fund a three-day meeting for the group. They met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania prior to the 2015 KSTF Summer Meeting to jointly develop chemistry curriculum that they then taught at their respective schools across the country during the fall semester of the 2015–2016 school year. During the meeting, they turned the Next Generation Science Standards into student friendly “I can” statements that guided their work. After the initial meeting, the group continued to debrief online and some members developed curriculum for the spring semester. To support implementation of standards-based grading in his classroom, John sought out standards-based grading resources from members of the KSTF community. After finding that standards-based grading helped him to better understand what his students did and did not learn, he shared his experience with the principal and assistant principal at his school. At the request of his principal, John led three, one-hour professional development sessions on standards-based grading that were attended by all 30 teachers at the school. He learned that the art teacher wrote learning goals for his classroom and began using standards-based grading immediately following his session.


Fellow Stories

Andrea Negrete

A photo of Andrea Negrete 2012 KSTF Teaching Fellow
3rd-year algebra teacher
Oakland International High School
Oakland, California

Andrea received a KSTF leadership grant to fund a two-day retreat for the six math teachers at her school. The retreat was aimed at strengthening the numeracy skills of their approximately 390 students. During their retreat, the group developed a list of numeracy skills their students need to master for success in future math courses. Additionally, they began working on a four-year scope and sequence that aligns to the math assessment used by the local community college, and selected a platform to track and assess student growth with regard to numeracy skills. The grant includes funding for the group to meet in summer 2016 to continue creating the scope and sequence and to develop the assessments that would be used.


Fellow Stories

Stephen Traphagen

A photo of Stephen Traphagen KSTF Senior Fellow
6th-year biology teacher
Rolling Meadows High School
Oak Park, Illinois

At his first KSTF cohort meeting, Stephen was introduced to the Understanding by Design® framework. Over the five years of the Fellowship, he explored this framework further through lesson study with other Fellows. Stephen shared the Understanding by Design® framework with his wife—Julie Minbiole, a biology professor—who began using it to improve learning in her courses at Columbia College. The two shared the insights they gained from implementing Understanding by Design® during a workshop—Improving Course Coherence, Assessment, and Student Engagement using Understanding by Design Planning—at the 2015 National Association of Biology Teachers Annual Meeting. The goal of their presentation (and her accompanying paper) was to foster conversation between high school science teachers and undergraduate-level science professors to facilitate the sharing of pedagogy and practice.

2016 Teaching Fellows

Meet Our Newest Cohort
Thirty-four early-career, high school mathematics and science teachers were awarded KSTF Teaching Fellowships as members of the 2016 Cohort. Their Fellowships began on June 1, 2016 and will continue through the summer of 2021. Read more about these outstanding new teachers.
Portrait of Cierra Atkinson
Cierra Atkinson
Del Mar High School
San Jose, California
Physics and Earth Science Teacher

Volunteered with Engineers Without Borders on a water accessibility project in El Salvador

Portrait of Tim Berto
Tim Berto
Middleton High School
Middleton, Wisconsin
Chemistry and Biology Teacher

Taught undergraduate chemistry courses for six years at the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin

Portrait of Jonathan Bower
Jonathan Bower
Del Mar High School
San Jose, California
Biology Teacher

Designed and launched the Outdoor Leadership Course, a stand alone camp program created to develop leadership abilities in high school students over the course of a week-long backpacking trip

Portrait of Jesse Braxton
Jesse Braxton
The Workshop School
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Chemistry Teacher

Organized several fast food worker strikes as part of a national campaign that led to minimum wage increases in several cities and in the states of California and New York

Portrait of Maria Chal
Maria Chal
Cristo Rey Boston
Boston, Massachusetts
Biology Teacher

Developed educational after-school programs and initiated a science club for elementary and middle school students at the Marge Schott-Unnewehr Boys and Girls Club

Portrait of Brianna Clarke
Briana Clarke
Envision Academy of Arts & Technology
Oakland, California
Physics Teacher

Designed a series of interactive science, engineering, and computer science workshops for the annual K–12 conference of the National Society of Black Engineers

Portrait of Stephanie Coffrey
Stephanie Coffey
Downtown Magnets High School
Los Angeles, California
Chemistry and Biology Teacher

Spent one year working as an English-language and GED tutor for adults in Dayton, Ohio with AmeriCorps

Portrait of Mandi Dean
Mandi Dean
Ridgeland High School
Rossville, Georgia
Mathematics Teacher

Spent three years investigating the most effective ways to incorporate 3D printing and 3D design into the mathematics classroom and wrote an article about her findings that was published in the May 2016 issue of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, a National Council of Teachers of Mathematics journal

Portrait of Thatch-Do
Thach Do
Del Mar High School
San Jose, California
Mathematics Teacher

Helped fellow students develop competency in calculus as a peer learning facilitator through the Academic Advancement Program at UCLA

Portrait of Taryn-Elliott
Taryn Elliott
Envision Academy of Arts & Technology
Oakland, California
Mathematics Teacher

Taught two writing classes for rising ninth grade students, and designed and taught a journalism elective course as a teaching intern with Breakthrough Collaborative in Austin, Texas

Portrait of Marissa Friedman
Marissa Friedman
McKinley Technology High School
Washington, District of Columbia
Chemistry Teacher

Spent one summer in Israel facilitating discussions with 15- and 16-year-old students about Jewish, Zionist, and Socialist values

Portrait of Jamie Gay
Jamie Gay
Longmont High School
Longmont, Colorado
Biology Teacher

Studied the effects of ocean acidification and warming on the interactions between coral and bio-eroding sponges as a research assistant with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Portrait of Rebecca Guarino
Rebecca Guarino
South Bronx Preparatory
Bronx, New York
Mathematics Teacher

Sold handmade crafts to raise funds to publish a book of original poetry—Voices of Beautiful Flowers—written by girls she mentored who were detained at a juvenile delinquent facility in Philadelphia

Portrait of Sarah Hettenbach
Sarah Hettenbach
Washburn Rural High School
Topeka, Kansas
Biology Teacher

Spent a summer helping research microplastics and how they travel through wastewater treatment plants as a participant in Shaping Inquiry from Feedstock to Tailpipe, a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Teachers program at the University of Kansas

Portrait of Michael Huntington
Michael Huntington
STEM High School
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Mathematics Teacher

Taught trigonometry, calculus and math to elementary teachers as a mathematics graduate student at the University of Wyoming

Portrait of Nancy Ku
Nancy Ku
Sequoia High School
Redwood City, California
Mathematics Teacher

Taught English in a rural Japanese high school for four years

Portrait of Nifemi Mabayoje
Nifemi Mabajoye
East Boston High School
East Boston, Massachusetts
Physics Teacher

Taught English to fifth grade students while studying abroad in Costa Rica

Portrait of Kira Maker
Kira Maker
Envision Academy of Arts & Technology
Oakland, California
Biology Teacher

Led inquiry-based science activities during special museum events as a volunteer at the Exploratorium in San Francisco

Portrait of Erika Mitkus
Erika Mitkus
The Sanford School
Hockessin, Delaware
Biology Teacher

Identified plants and sorted biomass as a Plant Community Ecology Intern at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Reserve in East Bethel, Minnesota

Portrait of Adam-Quaal
Adam Quaal
John W. North High School
Riverside, California
Physics Teacher

Served as the Director of Education for UCLA’s CityLab, a student-run organization that brought the wonder and utility of science to underserved Los Angeles Unified School District students

Portrait of Jovel Queirolo
Jovel Queirolo
Leadership Public Schools Oakland Research & Development Campus
Oakland, California
Biology Teacher

Served as a docent at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve in Portola Valley, California for two years

Portrait of Matt Sakow
Matt Sakow
Columbia River High School
Vancouver, Washington
Mathematics Teacher

Spent two years in Burkina Faso with the Peace Corps teaching eighth grade mathematics in French

Portrait of Katherine Sanden
Katherine Bellafiore Sanden
Gateway High School
San Francisco, California
Mathematics Teacher

Worked as lead teaching assistant for a Princeton University program aimed at getting girls interested in mathematics

Portrait of Brian Schwenk
Brian Schwenk
Falls Church High School
Falls Church, Virginia
Biology and Earth Science Teacher

Instructed rising fifth through eighth graders in problem-solving, geometry, exam preparation, and forensic science while serving as lead instructor for the Fairfax Collegiate Summer Program

Portrait of Hannah Seyb
Hannah Seyb
Shadow Hills High School
Indio, California
Physics Teacher

Identified and mapped 36 GHz methanol masers in star-forming regions as a participant in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Haystack Observatory

Portrait of Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
Ridgefield High School
Ridgefield, Connecticut
Chemistry Teacher

Developed interactive science lessons for inner-city youth in Boston Public Schools as a chemistry science ambassador

Portrait of Sara Smithback
Sara Smithback
Harlem Renaissance High School
Harlem, New York
Chemistry Teacher

Trained more than 100 teachers on the Reasoning Mind program and collaborated with principals and administrators to design implementations that maximized the benefits of the curriculum in the classroom

Portrait of Tom Snarsky
Tom Snarsky
Malden High School
Malden, Massachusetts
Mathematics Teacher

Served as a founding teacher at the Boston site for Breakthrough Collaborative, an organization that provides academic opportunity for highly motivated, underserved students and puts them on the path to college

Portrait of Sarah Spector
Sarah Spector
West High School
Salt Lake City, Utah
Earth Science Teacher

Developed content for tours, talks, guided hikes, and the junior ranger program as an interpretive ranger at the National Park Service at Crater Lake National Park

Portrait of Kellie Stilson
Kellie Stilson
South Elgin High School
South Elgin, Illinois
Mathematics Teacher

Helped to organize math festivals and math clubs for local schools as an active participant in a Michigan State University math outreach program

Portrait of Anthony Tedaldi
Anthony Tedaldi
Belleville High School
Belleville, Michigan
Chemistry Teacher

Worked as a graduate assistant and an adjunct special lecturer in the Chemistry Department at St. John’s University, in Queens, New York

Portrait of Kara Teehan
Kara Teehan
Middletown High School North
Middletown, New Jersey
Mathematics Teacher

Uncovered her passion for teaching while working as a mathematics tutor and teaching assistant/grader at Stockton University

Portrait of Dan Voss
Dan Voss
Boone High School
Boone, Iowa
Chemistry and Physics Teacher

Traveled to Belize to collect data on the use of previously installed solar fruit dryers with the Iowa State University chapter of Engineers Without Borders

Portrait of Kate Brown
Kate Wooley-Brown
Brookline High School
Brookline, Massachusetts
Physics Teacher

Developed and taught project-based, student-driven courses for rising 10th–12th grade students as a mechanical engineering and sustainable engineering instructor through Yale University’s EXPLO program

Financial Statements

Board of Trustees

Fiscal Year 2016
The following individuals joined or departed the KSTF Board of Trustees in fiscal year 2016
A photo of Bob Morris
Mr. Robert F. Morris Jr.
Retired, former Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager, UBS Financial Services

Mr. Morris began his financial career at Merrill Lynch in New York. After nearly 50 years in the industry, he retired from UBS Financial Services as a Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager in the Portfolio Management Program in 2012. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown (N.J.) and the Executive Committee of the Garden State Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, Mr. Morris is a member of the Advisory Board of the Presbyterian Historical Society. He received his education from The Haverford School and Princeton University.

A photo of Michael Wittmann
Dr. Michael C. Wittmann
Professor of Physics and Education, University of Maine

Dr. Wittmann is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Maine, where he’s taught for more than 15 years. Dr. Wittmann is also a co-operating professor in the College of Education and Human Development. He is a founding member of the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education and is the founder and co-director of the University of Maine Physics Education Research Laboratory. Dr. Wittmann holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Duke University, and a master’s degree and doctorate, both in physics from the University of Maryland.

A photo of George Wohlreich
Dr. George M. Wohlreich
President and Chief Executive Officer of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (Adjunct) at the Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania Schools of Medicine

Dr. Wohlreich is a practicing psychiatrist and a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (Adjunct) at both the Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania Schools of Medicine. He is the inaugural incumbent of the Thomas W. Langfitt Chair as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the nation’s oldest professional society. His community involvement includes serving on the Board and on the Executive Committee of the Delaware Valley Physicians Aid Society, the Eastern Pennsylvania Geriatric Society, and the Thomas Skeleton Harrison Foundation. Dr. Wohlreich holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Swarthmore College, a master’s degree in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania, and a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his psychiatry residency at Pennsylvania Hospital and the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, and his psychoanalytic training at the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis.

Board of Trustees

Heather Buskirk
Math and Physics Teacher, The Learning Project, Johnstown High School; Instructional Coach, Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Counties Pathways in Technology Early College High School; KSTF Senior Fellow
Nicole Gillespie
Executive Director & CEO, KSTF
C. Harry Knowles
Retired, founder and former President, Metrologic Instruments; Founder and Chairman, KSTF Board of Trustees
Janet H. Knowles
Retired, former Vice President of Administration and Treasurer, Metrologic Instruments; Founder and Secretary, KSTF Board of Trustees
Paul Kuerbis
Retired, former Professor of Education, Colorado College
Scott McVay
Retired, former Founding Executive Director, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation
Lucy Balian Rorke-Adams
Retired, former Senior Pathologist, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Clinical Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
William Rulon-Miller
Retired, former Director of Investment Banking, Janney Montgomery Scott
Lawrence Tint
Senior Managing Director, Cantor Comparative Advantage
Edward D. Viner
Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Senior Advisor to the Dean, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
A group photo of the KSTF team.

The KSTF team

Meet Our Team
KSTF invests in attracting and retaining highly qualified staff to carry out its programming. Our staff collectively has more than 100 years of teaching experience and an unwavering commitment to our Fellows and our mission. In Fiscal Year 2016, staff donated $3,847 dollars to KSTF and agreed to use these funds to equip a technology lending library that allows Fellows to gain hands-on experience with technological devices before requesting a classroom materials grant to fund their purchase. This library now includes 13 pieces of educational technology that have been borrowed by Fellows and tested in their classrooms.

The Future of KSTF

Moving Forward 

Fiscal year 2016 marks the first year that we have more Senior Fellows—teachers who successfully completed the five-year Fellowship—than Teaching Fellows in the KSTF community. In the years to come, we anticipate that KSTF Senior Fellows will play a larger role in determining the direction of the Teaching and Senior Fellow Programs. Further, they will help KSTF to continue to amplify our impact beyond the teachers we support directly.

During fiscal year 2017, KSTF Senior Fellows will lead a pilot of the Coaching Institute that provides coaching to non-KSTF Fellows. Additionally, KSTF Senior Fellows will offer a wide range of services designed to help teachers integrate engineering design challenges into mathematics and science courses. For more information, contact KSTF via email at info@kstf.org.


Cochran-Smith, M. & Lytle, S. L. (1993). Inside/Outside Teacher Research and Knowledge. New York, New York: Teachers College Press.

Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning. About POGIL. Retrieved from https://pogil.org/about.

McTighe, J. & Wiggins, G. (2012). Understanding by Design® Framework. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/siteASCD/publications/UbD_WhitePaper0312.pdf.

Understanding by Design® and UbD™ are trademarks owned by ASCD


Collaborative working groups—one of the formats offered at the KSTF summer meeting—encourage substantive exchange and interaction among participants who are working on common educational issues, problems, or questions, where participants would benefit from collaboration or discussion.


Practitioner inquiry involves systematic intentional inquiry by teachers about their own school and classroom work.

View Reference »

POGIL is a classroom and laboratory technique that seeks to simultaneously teach content and key process skills such as the ability to think analytically and work effectively as part of a collaborative team.

View Reference »

Standards-based grading involves measuring student proficiency with respect to specific learning goals/standards. With standards-based grading, students earn a proficiency score for each learning goal/standard assessed, instead of earning a letter grade on the task as a whole.


The Understanding by Design® framework (UbD™ framework) offers a planning process and structure to guide curriculum, assessment, and instruction. Its two key ideas are contained in the title: 1) focus on teaching and assessing for understanding and learning transfer, and 2) design curriculum “backward” from those ends.

View Reference »