MIT does not have an education school, but it’s just announced a big new initiative with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation on elementary and secondary teacher training. From MIT News:
MIT, through its Office of Digital Learning (ODL) and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, today announced a new collaboration aimed at supporting teachers in their efforts to use emerging digital learning tools and environments, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The effort will promote new ideas, technologies, and curricula along with research related to educator preparation with a focus on STEM subjects for students from pre-kindergarten through the senior year of high school.
Specifically, this collaboration brings together the Woodrow Wilson Academy for Teaching and Learning (WW Academy) and a new research effort within ODL called the MIT PK12 Initiative. It is designed to fill a growing need in education by providing new capabilities to teachers as they transform their classrooms into the technology-enhanced learning environments of tomorrow. The MIT PK12 Initiative has been created with $9.9 million in seed funding from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation to bring together educators and researchers at MIT interested in learning from infancy through the secondary level.
“Hands-on, problem-focused, curiosity-driven learning is squarely at the heart of an MIT education, and it will be central to MIT’s work with the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Together, we will combine MIT’s ‘mind and hand’ approach to learning with recent breakthroughs in cognitive science and digital learning to inform the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s efforts to develop and support excellent STEM teachers and school leaders,” said MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “We are thrilled to begin this effort to reimagine the classroom experience.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education notes that
The venture also builds on some of the ambitions for greater educational experimentation that MIT articulated last year in its report on [The Future of MIT Education]. That plan called for MIT to become more involved with elementary and secondary education; to make greater use of competency-based teaching, blended learning, and simulations; and to develop new roles for professors and new kinds of credentials. The new academy is “a chance to apply it all to teacher education,” said [Woodrow Wilson Foundation President] Arthur Levine…
The teaching academy will start out small; 25 students will attend free in the first class, beginning in the fall of 2017. After that, the academy hopes to enroll about 200 students who will each pay about $15,000 for a degree earned by satisfying the required competencies set out in several modules. The program will focus at first on training teachers for mathematics, and the sciences, working directly with two MIT professors: Eric Klopfer, an expert in the use of computer games and simulations to understand science, and Vijay Kumar, MIT’s associate dean of digital learning.
Professor Klopfer has long been an enthusiastic champion of online learning. Learn more about him in this faculty profile, and check out some of his courses on OCW and MITx.
OCW courses by Eric Klopfer
- 11.124 Introduction to Education: Looking Forward and Looking Back on Education
- 11.127J Computer Games and Simulations for Investigation and Education
- 11.125 Introduction to Education: Understanding and Evaluating Education
MITx on edX courses by Eric Klopfer
- Implementation and Evaluation of Educational Technology (7-week course begins July 15, 2015)
- Design and Development of Educational Technology (archived course)
- Introduction to Game Design (archived course)
- Design and Development of Games for Learning (archived course)