Partnerships, Workshops and Visits Bring Together Diverse Perspectives on Elementary Education

As a laboratory school, UCLA Lab School connects with educators from around Los Angeles, the United States and the world to provide opportunities for professional development and to explore ideas related to teaching and learning in elementary schools, with a focus on experiential, inquiry-based learning. This public scholarship work is a key component of our vision and mission.

Here is a look at these projects in the 2018-2019 school year:

Inquiry Collaborative with 15th Street School

In August 2018, we began an in-depth, collaborative partnership with 15th Street Elementary School in LAUSD Local District South. This partnership is designed to bring together diverse perspectives on how to implement inquiry-based teaching and learning to maximize every child’s learning potential. Teachers use the inquiry approach developed at the Lab School as the basis for this work. They have been meeting at both schools throughout the year to observe in each others’ classrooms, try out ideas, and share their learning. This collaboration and exploration of these practices in different teaching and learning environments enriches all partners’ ability to adapt and grow an inquiry pedagogy that honors diverse student voices.
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Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching Partnership

In collaboration with the Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching Program, we are working to provide opportunities for educators who want to grow their practice in inquiry based teaching and the use of primary sources. Together with the Library of Congress, UCLA Lab School and Cotsen’s Art of Teaching Program are part of the Teaching with Primary Sources Consortium, which provides resources and learning opportunities for educators to use original documents, photographs, memorabilia and other artifacts to make history and abstract cultural ideas come to life for students. In a new project this year, UCLA Lab School demonstration teachers are working to support Cotsen mentor teachers and fellows in their study of inquiry based teaching and learning.

UCLA Mathematics Project in LAUSD Schools

Demonstration teachers from UCLA Lab School are working with the UCLA Mathematics Project and the Los Angeles Unified School (LAUSD) to enhance the skill sets of K-12 mathematics teachers, who can in turn increase their students’ ability to succeed. Under the umbrella of a UCLA Center X initiative, our demonstration teachers are working with elementary school and early childhood teachers in seven schools throughout the Los Angeles area, including the San Fernando Valley, Eagle Rock, and West LA. Using CGI, or Cognitively Guided Instruction, the teachers work to develop children’s mathematical mindset and build their knowledge and skills as mathematicians and problem solvers.

Educator Days

UCLA Lab School offers Educator Day workshops for visiting teachers to explore new areas of learning, observe theory in practice, and generate ideas for their work with their students. This year’s five workshops were attended by 275 educators from throughout Southern California. Participants observed in classrooms and then met with demonstration teachers to debrief, reflect and plan. The areas of focus were:

  • Creating a Culture and Pedagogy of Inquiry
  • CGI: Counting Across the Grades
  • CGI: Problem Solving
  • The Art of Teaching with Primary Sources
  • Balanced Literacy in Dual Language Classrooms

Visitor Groups 2018-2109

Focus: Inquiry based teaching and learning in a diverse learning community

Crane Elementary School District, Arizona
Focus: Principals and subject matter coaches observed formative assessment in action

Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching, Southern California
Focus: Alumni fellows observed learning through play and classroom environments 

Maui Preparatory Academy, Hawaii
Focus: School administrators from Hawaii, China and Canada observed flexible groupings and co-teaching in a diverse learning community

State Collaborative of the Council of Chief State School Officers
Focus: Formative assessment

This is the membership organization for state chiefs in the United States. The group also includes industry partners who work across the country and internationally.

States represented:

  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Partners represented:

  • Center for Innovation in Education
  • Curriculum Associates
  • ETS
  • Michigan Assessment Consortium
  • NWEA
  • Smarter Balanced
  • WIDA