About Us at CEI
It is indisputable that there are wide variations in the success of school systems. Some are able to gain positive outcomes for their students and some are not. The importance of education reform has launched a plethora of programs; billions of dollars have been poured into different approaches – yet the performance of schools has shown variable improvement. Recent studies identify three key factors in the improvement of education outcomes: “Getting the right people as teachers; developing them into effective instructors; and ensuring that the system is able to deliver the best possible instruction for every child.” (McKinsey and Company; Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) .
Regardless of the culture in which these three factors are applied, research identified immediate improvement in schools. It follows that with these in place, improvement in outcomes through applying best practices would then have a vast impact in the improvement of failing school systems. Highly trained teachers are key to the success of their students. Understanding how to create a positive and productive culture of learning and how to motivate students to make learning their own is a gift to any child. Friends Academy has a 200-year history as a center for learning and growth in Massachusetts’ South Coast area. By implementing advanced teaching methods through professional development, Friends Academy helps its students perform at and above their expectations. The same students who attend school in nearby school districts achieve completely different academic trajectories once they arrive. The effects last a lifetime.
By establishing The Center for Education Innovation (CEI), Friends Academy extends and exports its proven methods and resources to help improve and sustain the levels of teaching and learning across the South Coast region and beyond. The Center for Education Innovation is poised to bring the quality teacher training needed to improve both public and independent schools. It has created a wraparound program for a teacher-training curriculum, “WIDE World” developed at the Harvard Graduate School of Education using their framework for learning called “Teaching for Understanding.” The wraparound program introduces technology that can be thoughtfully integrated into the classroom in such a way that all students, regardless of pre-existing challenges, are able to excel. The program provides teachers with the appropriate tools to make them effective instructors, and it provides students with learning experiences that are engaging and results-oriented.
Currently CEI is partnered with four elementary schools in the New Bedford Public Schools district. We have provided these schools with a total of 261 desktop computers, 210 iPads (with charging carts and MacBooks), 67 teacher laptops, 16 printers, 1 Promethean board, and student headphones. The schools have also received school licencing for five educational software packages that include Lexia, Kid Pix, Kidspiration, TimeLiner, and Comic Life 2. In addition, we provide support staff, embedded in the schools, to serve as instructional technology coaches and assist with day to day technology use and support hardware and software requests.
Teachers from our partner schools attend CEI workshops and the WIDE World Teaching to Standards with New Technologies professional development course based on Teaching for Understanding, a classroom-tested framework produced through research at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.