Thursday, April 7, 2011

National Innovator Joel Rose Helps Washington State Leaders Rethink the Role of the Teacher

Seattle, WA - By mixing technology with in-person instruction, teachers can tailor lessons to meet individual student learning needs, Joel Rose, former teacher and nationally acclaimed inventor of School of One, told a group of Washington's prominent education and private sector entrepreneurs Tuesday.

"Even with our best teachers, we rarely see the results we want," Rose bluntly stated at the Washington Education Innovation Forum. "We have to make the job of the teacher easier."

In the School of One model, a computer formula creates an individualized lesson plan for students each day that is tailored to their learning style and progress in a specific skill. TIME Magazine recognized School of One as among the 50 best inventions for 2009.

The new Innovation Forum was started by Robin Lake, Associate Director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington Bothell. Lake brought Rose to Seattle to help spark more innovation in Washington's public schools: "We know we won't get dramatically different results for students by doing the same thing we've always done. This forum is designed to challenge our assumptions about what a classroom looks like, what teaching looks like, and what learning looks like."

"Joel Rose and School of One: Redesigning the Role of the Teacher," a summary of the forum, highlights how the School of One model enhances the role of teachers:

  • Maximizes teacher time by allowing students to use a variety of learning modes in one classroom, including computer-based instruction
  • Manages complex student data via technology so that teachers can better target student learning needs
  • Promotes teacher collaboration and accountability by asking four teachers to be mutually responsible for sixty students and to focus on those studentsÍ skills rather than grades or subjects
  • Allows teachers to perfect lessons by teaching the same skill for multiple days to different students

Tuesday's presentation, moderated by Dr. Tom Stritikus, Dean of the University of Washington College of Education, launched the Washington Education Innovation Forum. Each session will focus on a particular educational problem that might be addressed through innovation and technology. The forum asks leaders to consider and confront the existing state and local policies that make many of the most promising innovations impossible to implement.

The Washington Education Innovation Forum is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Follow us on Twitter @crpe_uw. The Washington Education Innovation Forum hashtag is #innovateWAed.