At Authentic Education, we honor our belief in the individuality of schools by customizing all services to meet the specific needs of our clients.
Our workshops are interactive, combining multimedia presentation with hands-on activities, intriguing dialogue, and opportunities to apply powerful principles and tools to your particular circumstances. We provide a comprehensive set of proven worksheets, examples, and other materials for use during and long after the workshop.
Listed below is a brief summary of our most popular workshops and the services most commonly requested of us by schools throughout the world. If nothing here suits your particular needs, please call us.
Introduction to Understanding by Design®
Identify the elements of good design and the promise of teaching for understanding. Begin to experience the power of UbD™ in crafting curricular units that align standards, assessments, and learning activities. For more information on UbD™, click here.
Learning Through Dialogue
Explore ways to engage students in active and structured dialogue designed to foster the deep understanding of big ideas. This workshop begins with Socratic Seminar but quickly moves beyond it, with approaches to improving student preparation, honing listening skills, promoting rethinking, and encouraging reflection on learning.
What role do questions play in teaching for understanding? How can we move beyond easy answers? How can we use our time in the classroom to expand, rather than constrain, student thinking? When are the questions more important than the answers?
Assessment for Learning / Assessment of Learning
Explore the characteristics of effective and engaging formative and summative assessment. Discover the value of pretests and low-stakes assessment for skill building. Establish a repertoire of techniques to check quickly for student understanding, to craft engaging tasks that probe and deepen learning, and to evaluate student work fairly.
Feedback and Guidance
Effective learning cannot happen without frequent, accurate feedback. In this hands-on workshop, we give you models, practice and feedback in giving and using feedback.
Beyond ABC: Communicating Student Progress through Better Report Cards
As we rethink the ways we assess student understanding, we must also rethink the ways we communicate with parents and others. Explore alternative approaches to letter grades and skills checklists, with models that chart student progress in light of learning goals, personal growth, and habits of mind.
Rubrics for Understanding
Improve student performance through the use of rubrics that identify key elements of learning and communicate them clearly to students. Discover the hidden dangers of project checklists, coded language, and secret criteria for evaluation. Design rubrics for use in your classrooms and explore their optimal use in evaluating student work.
Guided Conversation/ Guided Outcome
Rather than scheduling a formal workshop with a single direction, encourage teams of teachers to formulate their own questions and define those areas of greatest interest to them. During the course of a single day, our staff will meet with up to six teams in one hour sessions.
Training for the Curriculum Framer
We provide short- and long-term training in how to effectively use the Curriculum Framer, the internet-based unit design database based on Understanding by Design®. Learn to use the Framer to search for model units, adapt units for use in local classrooms, build unit designs, and map school curricula.
If you are located in the mid-Atlantic region, we also offer half-day workshops on any of these topics, on a pro-rated fee basis.
Understanding by Design® (two to five days)
Expand beyond the basics of good design and teaching for understanding by crafting and reviewing curricular units that you can use in your own programs. These longer workshops allow ample time for individual or team design work, feedback and guidance, and revision.
Assessment for Learning / Assessment of Learning (two days)
In this expanded version of our one-day assessment workshop, explore the characteristics of effective and engaging formative and summative assessment in greater depth. Guided practice will enable you to develop your own assessments that deepen students' understanding and craft rubrics for the effective evaluation of their work.
Questioning and Learning Through Dialogue (two days)
This workshop combines the ideas of two of our one-day workshops, exploring the interplay between questions and dialogue. Experiment with approaches to developing provocative questions, guiding the progress of group dialogue, and prompting reflection on how we learn.