Online Courses

The NEA Foundation courses are intended to develop collaborative skills and content knowledge. The courses promote union-district collaboration as a tool for systems change and were developed by field experts, using a rich selection of resources. Use the course content in whatever way best meets your needs – a whole course, a single session, or just an activity. New courses are in development and will be posted periodically.

To start today, simply register and login!

 

Did you miss the live streaming coverage of the NEA Foundation's Cross-Site Convening on October 16-17? Watch videos of all the panel discussions and keynote speakers here.

 

Highlighted resource

Collaborative Problem Solving and Action is a team course intended to support union and district leaders in increasing the impact of their efforts to raise student achievement by using union-district collaboration. Learn more by reading the description below or login!

 

Explore sample activities from select courses below.

Overview

 

Course 1: Leading and Sustaining Reform*


Course 2: Collaborative Problem Solving and Action


Course 3: Facilitating Effective Labor-Management Teams*


Course 4: Effective School-Community Collaboration*


Course 5: National and International Forces Affecting Public Education


Course 6: Federal and State Policy Environments


Course 7: Power, Influence, and Public Education


Course 8: Effective Professional Learning for Educators

 

Course 9: Teacher Evaluation

 

Course 10: Teachers Unions and Education Reform

 

Course 11: Peer Assistance and Review (PAR)*

 

Course 12: Historical Role of Teachers Unions

 

Course 13: Strategic Compensation

 

Course 14: Redesigning Our Work: Policies, Practices, Contracts, and Agreements

 

Course 15: Teacher Hiring, Placement, Retention, and Tenure

 

Course 16: Brain and Learning

 

*These flagship courses are accessible on not just PCs, but also handheld devices. These courses are also easily accessible by session, making it easier for you to go straight to the session you need after logging in. If you are taking these courses and have used these features, please share your experience by emailing course@nea.org.

Course 1

 

Leading and Sustaining Reform*

 

  • Type: Self-Facilitated Team
  • Audience: District and Union Leaders
  • Overview: Deepens participant understanding of what it takes to engage in, lead, and sustain school and district reform

 

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Session 1: Learning From Our Own Experience with Change
Estimated Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Reflect on change initiatives team members have experienced and discuss successful and unsuccessful strategies from those initiatives

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Session 2: Learning From Sustained Success — The Case of Brockton High School
Estimated Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Explore the Brockton High School case study and utilize small group reflections to think about what a highly successful change program would look like at one's own district or school
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Session 3: Learning From Improving Systems
Estimated Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Examine and discuss school systems that make substantial improvements to students’ outcomes and think about key players’ roles in the schools and districts

Explore this session


Session 4: Why Reform in K-12 Education Is So Hard, and What We Can Do About It
Estimated Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Perform two exercises to diagnose and reflect on the current capacity for reform at one's own school or district in addition to predicted difficulties or roadblocks
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Session 5: Using Collaboration and Data to Drive Improvement
Estimated Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Apply the 4 C’s framework to case studies and then turn the discussion towards data use as a tool for reform

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Session 6: Working With Resistance to Change — Envisioning the Future
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Discuss how commitment relates to resistance to change and identify a vision for the future of one's own district or school

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Session 7: Advancing the Work — The Capstone Project
Estimated Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Complete an activity designed to launch participants’ capstone projects

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Session 8: Capstone Conclusion and Sustainability
Estimated Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Assess the current state of participants’ capstones and determine next steps to continue progress with reform at one's own district or school

Explore this session

 

*Note: This course has been chosen as a prototype. It is not only accessible by desktops and laptops, but also via handheld devices (smart phones and tablets). If you are taking this course with a handheld device, please share your experience by emailing course@nea.org.

Course 2

 

Collaborative Problem Solving and Action*

 

  • Type: Self-Facilitated Team
  • Audience: District and Union Leaders
  • Overview: Helps participants to increase the impact of their efforts to raise student achievement using labor-management collaboration

 

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Session 1: Why Collaborate? What Are Our Learning Goals?
Estimated Time: 2 hours  35 minutes

Discuss collaboration in general, and then apply those ideas to collaborative goals; set norms and goals for your new “team of learners”

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Session 2: What Is the Work? How Shall We Work Together?

Estimated Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Take time to reflect on actions that can improve student achievement

Explore this session


Session 3: Who Owns the Work?

Estimated Time: 1 hours 40 minutes
Reflect and discuss roles within a school and district setting to help determine which crucial areas are the responsibility of labor, which are the responsibility of management, and which are the responsibility of both

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Session 4: Making Collaboration Concrete

Estimated Time: 2 hour 20 minutes
Identify concrete practices for successful collaboration and barriers to those practices and discuss strategies to drive collaborative change with colleagues

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Session 5: Making Collaboration Concrete: Part II

Estimated Time: 2 hours
Assess current progress towards collaborative goals and provide feedback to a change team

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Session 6: Leading Collaborative Action and Affirming the Ongoing Work

Estimated Time: 2 hours
Determine the progress made in the course and develop a plan for the future

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*Note: This course has been chosen as a prototype. It is not only accessible by desktops and laptops, but also via handheld devices (smart phones and tablets). If you are taking this course with a handheld device, please share your experience by emailing course@nea.org.

Course 3

 

 Facilitating Effective Labor-Management Teams*

 

  • Type: Self-Study or Small Group
  • Audience: District and Union Leaders
  • Overview: Provides an opportunity for participants to examine current research and implement dynamic ways to create effective labor-management teams

 

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Session 1: Mapping Your Experience and Exploring the Research

Estimated Time: 2 hours
Foundational session that incorporates reflection and an introduction on teams and their importance

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Session 2: Learning to Team, Teaming to Learn

Estimated Time: 2 hours
Reflect on observations and use that reflection and the assigned research reading to create a plan for field work

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Session 3: Understanding Collaboration

Estimated Time: 2 hours
Begin thinking about collaboration specifically related to labor-management teams

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Session 4: Facilitation of Labor-Management Teams

Estimated Time: 2 hours
Reflect on team facilitation and determine the importance of the facilitator’s role as well as key benefits of strong facilitation

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Session 5: Collaborating for Creative Discomfort

Estimated Time: 2 hours
Explore psychological safety implications of teaming in an effort to reflect on one's own psychological safety and that of their team

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Session 6: Learning New Ways to Lead

Estimated Time: 2 hours
Take time to assess one’s progress during this course and think about how to overcome inevitable failures in the future

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*Note: This course has been chosen as a prototype. It is not only accessible by desktops and laptops, but also via handheld devices (smart phones and tablets). If you are taking this course with a handheld device, please share your experience by emailing course@nea.org.


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Course 4

 

Effective School–Community Collaboration*

 

  • Type: Self-Study or Small Group
  • Audience: District, Community, and Union Leaders
  • Overview: Offers insight into the powerful effects of school-community collaboration and provides a framework for the development and implementation of collaborative programs

 

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Session 1: School-Community Collaboration: An Introduction

Estimated Time: 2 hours  30 minutes
Examine one's own experiences with school-community collaboration and read research on its positive effects

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Session 2: Transforming Schools: How Communities Help Schools Improve

Estimated Time: 2 hours
Reflect on observations, case studies, and keys to community engagement in order to answer guiding questions on current and future practices

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Session 3: Systems Change: The Power of District Community Collaboration

Estimated Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Examine positive outcomes of district-community collaboration and determine capacity for collaboration in one's own district

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Session 4: Mapping the Future of School-Community Collaboration in Your Community

Estimated Time: 2 hour 30 minutes
Use information from other community collaboration projects as well as the entire course to begin the development of a plan for one's own district

Explore this session

 

*Note: This course has been chosen as a prototype. It is not only accessible by desktops and laptops, but also via handheld devices (smart phones and tablets). If you are taking this course with a handheld device, please share your experience by emailing course@nea.org.


Related Links

Course 5

 

National and International Forces Affecting Public Education

 

  • Type: Self-Facilitated Team
  • Audience: Education Community
  • Overview: Develops foundational knowledge of various national and international factors affecting education today

 

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Session 1: Education and Economic Growth
Estimated Time: 2 hours  20 minutes
Read and discuss research on the impact of educational attainment and outcomes on national economic competitiveness, economic inequality, and economic opportunities for individual works

Session 2: International Trends
Estimated Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Explore international trends and lessons to be learned in educational attainment


Session 3: Education Finance and Productivity

Estimated Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Examine how public funding is distributed in the United States and how trade-offs and ideology can influence funding decision


Session 4: Demographic Shifts: Changes for Teachers and Students

Estimated Time: 2 hour 25 minutes
Reflect on the impact of current demographic trends for both the student population and teaching workforce in the United States

Course 6


Federal and State Policy Environments

  • Type: Self-Facilitated Team
  • Audience: Education Community
  • Overview: A number of political interests, historical trends, and social forces shape U.S. education policy at the national and state levels. Federal and State Policy Environments helps participants develop foundational knowledge of the federal and state policy environment, and how that environment affects education today.


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Session 1: The Role of the Federal Government in Education: Key Legislation, Regulation, and Funding
Estimated Time: 2 hours  20 minutes
Examine and discuss the progression of federal involvement in education and education spending

Session 2: The Role of the State Government in Education
Estimated Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Review the development of state education reform efforts, including a current legislative movement focused on teacher effectiveness

 

Session 3: Shifts in Education Governance
Estimated Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Explore differing views about the appropriate role of federal, state, and local governments in education, including shifts in education governance

Course 7


Power, Influence and Public Education

  • Type: Self-Facilitated Team
  • Audience: Education Community
  • Overview: Develops foundational knowledge of the contemporary influences in public education


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Session 1: Public Education and the Teaching Profession
Estimated Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Review an analysis of the goals of public education and consider their impact on the evolution of the teaching profession in the United States

Session 2: The Evolving Role of Teachers Unions
Estimated Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Examine the evolution of teachers unions, from their formation in the late 19th century to the present day and identify and explore pressures they face

Session 3: The Role of Advocacy Groups
Estimated Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Explore and discuss the growing influence of education advocacy groups and analyze their impact

Session 4: Philanthropy and Schools
Estimated Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Discuss and explore the differing views about the role of philanthropy in public education

Course 8

 

Effective Professional Learning for Educators

  • Type: Self-Facilitated Team
  • Audience: District and Union Leaders
  • Overview: Develops participants’ knowledge of various professional learning strategies and structures, and provides a framework for creating a professional learning program


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Session 1: Research on Professional Learning
Estimated Time: 2 hours  15 minutes
Reflect on team’s experiences with professional learning and evaluate research on the current state of professional development in the U.S.

Session 2: Standards for Professional Learning
Estimated Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Take an in-depth look at professional learning standards and assess one's own district’s effectiveness

Session 3: Professional Learning Communities
Estimated Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Examine and discuss Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), and reflect on how PLCs could be used in one's own district

Session 4: Designing Job-Embedded Professional Learning
Estimated Time: 2 hour 10 minutes
Learn about the Backmapping Model and use it to analyze one's own district and compare with example scenarios

Session 5: Rescheduling the Workday for Collaborative Professional Learning
Estimated Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Discuss the rationale for restructuring the workday for job-embedded professional learning and establish a criteria for prioritizing factors in developing such a program

Session 6: Being (Becoming) Reflective Practitioners
Estimated Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Develop an understanding of the importance of reflection for adult learners and how inquiry-based learning designs can facilitate formal and informal reflection

Course 9

 

Teacher Evaluation

 

  • Type: Self-Study or Small Group
  • Audience: District and Union Leaders
  • Overview: Critically evaluate prospective teacher evaluation models and develop an implementation plan and procedure for a new or revised teacher evaluation system in one’s district

 

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Session 1: Introduction to Teacher Evaluation
Estimated Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Examine the key components and stakeholders in an effective Teacher Evaluation system

Session 2: Digging into Teacher Observation
Estimated Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using video for teacher observations, reflect on good teaching practice observation instruments, and analyze the importance of quality control

Session 3: Build or Buy?
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Reflect on values of teaching and use that reflection to evaluate pros and cons of building or buying a teacher evaluation system. Use that information to determine one’s district’s proper course of action

Session 4: One Step Away: Student Achievement Data
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Compare different models for incorporating student achievement data in evaluation systems, and reflect on the appropriate method for one’s district given the strengths and limitations of each model

Session 5: Data Types and Composite Measures
Estimated Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Define the different types of statistical data and averages used in an evaluation system and analyze their potential impact on teacher ratings

Session 6: Educative Systems: Feedback, Professional Development, and Links in the Chain
Estimated Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Understand the importance of accountability in an evaluation system and the link between meaningful feedback for teachers and effective professional development

Course 10

 

Teachers Unions and Education Reform

 

  • Type: Self-Study or Small Group
  • Audience: Education Community
  • Overview: Examine the past and current relationship between teachers unions and education reform in order to use those insights to assess and build one’s capacity for reform.

 
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Session 1: The History of Teachers Unions in the United States
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Build an understanding of key historical issues for teachers unions in the United States

Session 2: The Legal Contexts for Union Roles in Relation to Education Reform
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Analyze and reflect on the impact of contracts and collective bargaining on the teaching profession

Session 3: Teachers Unions, Media, and Education Reform 
Estimated Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Evaluate the role that teachers unions play in education reforms and reflect on the effect of mass media on the public image of teachers unions

Session 4: The Promises and Pitfalls of Reform Partnerships
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Gain insight into the cause and effect of labor-management collaboration efforts as well as how teachers unions must navigate a balance between reform partnerships and members’ needs

Session 5: Teachers Unions As Reform Leaders
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Study union-led education reforms with a focus on motivations and organizational characteristics

Session 6: Course Conclusion and Reflection
Estimated Time: 1 hour
Reflect on the course content and one’s own interaction with union-led reforms or labor-management collaboration

Course 11

 

Peer Assistance and Review (PAR)*

 

  • Type: Self-Study or Small Group and Self-Facilitated Team
  • Audience: District and Union Leaders
  • Overview: Supports the efforts of groups researching, developing, and implementing a Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) program by providing information, insight and guidance

 

Session-specific videos have been inserted below for your reference. To access the remaining resources and activities, simply click Get Started.


Session 1: PAR Overview and Purposes
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Gain an overall understanding of how PAR works and what its purposes are

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PAR Overview and Purpose

 

 

 

 

 

 


Session 2: What Groups of Teachers Does PAR Serve?
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Learn how PAR is used with new and veteran teachers in two components—the Novice and Intervention Programs
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What Groups of Teachers Does PAR Serve?

 

 

 

 

 

 


Session 3: The Consulting Teacher’s Role
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Consider consulting teachers (CTs)—their qualifications, responsibilities, the structure of their role, and their working relationships with principals

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The Consulting Teacher’s Role

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consulting Teachers

 

Session 4: The Principal’s Role in PAR
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Explore the pivotal role that the principal plays in PAR
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The Principal’s Role in PAR

 

 

 

 

 

 


Session 5: The PAR Panel
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Consider the PAR panel—its composition, responsibilities, and practices

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The PAR Panel

 

 

 

 

 

 


Session 6: The Costs and Benefits of PAR
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Consider the costs and benefits of PAR, within your district’s context

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Cost and Benefits of PAR


Session 7: Planning and Negotiating PAR
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Explore some of the issues involved in the process of planning for and negotiating PAR

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Planning and Negotiating PAR

 

 

 

 

 

 


Session 8: Implementing PAR
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Consider some of the issues and tasks that become important in implementing PAR, such as making final policy decisions about the roles of the CT, principal, and Panel and determining how you will inform others in your district about the PAR program

Explore this session


*Note: This course has been chosen as a prototype. It is not only accessible by desktops and laptops, but also via handheld devices (smart phones and tablets). If you are taking this course with a handheld device, please share your experience by emailing course@nea.org.


Related Links

Course 12

 

Historical Role of Teachers Unions

 

  • Type: Self-Study or Small Group
  • Audience: Education Community
  • Overview: Explore the foundational history of teachers unions covering how they started, their significant milestones, and their current impact.

 

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Session 1: A Historical Overview of Education in the United States
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Gain a foundational understanding of the contours of education policy in the United States from the 1700s to the present

Session 2: Why Have Workers Organized Unions in the United States?
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Analyze and reflect on why workers have felt it necessary to organize unions, particularly teachers unions, in the United States

Session 3: A History of the National Education Association (NEA)
Estimated Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Examine the foundational history of the National Education Association (NEA) and reflect on the organization’s historical progression

Session 4: A History of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
Estimated Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Examine the foundational history of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and reflect on the organization’s historical progression

Session 5: Teachers Unions and Movements for Civil Rights and Social Justice
Estimated Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Read and reflect on the many ways teachers unions, in the 20th century, played a role in civil rights and social justice movements

Session 6: The Unions Role in Transforming Teaching and Learning
Estimated Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Explore and reflect on examples of how teachers unions have been involved in issues concerning teaching and learning

Course 13

 

Strategic Compensation

 

  • Type: Self-Facilitated Team
  • Audience: District and Union Leaders
  • Overview: Intended to enable a team of participants with an opportunity to develop a global understanding of salary structures and the role of compensation in supporting effective teaching. Thoughtful reform conversations as well as the role of conducting more detailed research and investigation of the topic are important elements highlighted.

 
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Session 1: Why Engage in Compensation Reform?
Estimated Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Discuss foundation course elements, such as course goals and learning objectives, then transition into whole and small group discussion and reflection on the role of compensation reform

Session 2: Compensation Goals and Principles
Estimated Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Review and analyze the Portland, ME compensation structure and then develop district prioritization of compensation goals

Session 3: Expanding the Parameters: The Value Proposition
Estimated Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Explore the Value Proposition; discuss the concepts of recognition, development and career opportunities, and working conditions as potential rewards for employee performance; and generate ideas about strategic trade-offs inherent in employer–employee relations

Session 4: An Overview of Salary Components
Estimated Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Discuss the components of compensation and review and analyze the Denver Pro Comp compensation structure

Session 5: Salary Structures that Attract and Retain
Estimated Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Examine the Washington, DC and Pittsburgh, PA case studies, and reflect on how salary structures can attract and retain quality employees

Session 6: Salary Structures that Motivate
Estimated Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Discuss the Hillsboro County, FL case study and reflect on the science pertaining to motivation and explore its application

Session 7: Career Ladder Salary Structures
Estimated Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Explore career ladders as a structure for motivation while analyzing different structures and determining pros and cons of each one.

Session 8: Salary Structures That Align With District Priorities
Estimated Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Reflect on the concept of district priorities and think about how compensation structures can help achieve those priorities while recognizing that trade-offs are inevitable

Session 9: Salary Structures That Are Fiscally Sustainable
Estimated Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Identify issues that can impact compensation systems’ fiscal sustainability and prepare for the final project in which small groups analyze the Baltimore, MD compensation plan

Session 10: Bringing It All Together
Estimated Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Utilize knowledge from the entire course to participate in final presentations, then close with a final reflection

Course 14

 

Redesigning Our Work: Policies, Practices, Contracts, and Agreements

 

  • Type: Self-Facilitated Team
  • Audience: District and Union Leaders
  • Overview: Identify a team-determined education reform policy based on a federal or local state requirement that affects how schools are organized at the local level and use this policy as a lens to look at local decision-making structures.


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Session 1: Understanding the Intersection of Federal, State, and Local Policy
Estimated Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Review federal and state policy making and the impact of research and policy reports, including assessing the evidence to support changes to practice.

Session 2: Agenda Setting – Identifying the Local Policy
Estimated Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Determine the implications of the proposed policy for the district in terms of the time needed, the changes in personnel required, and the projected cost.

Session 3: Policy Formulation: Gathering Input
Estimated Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Engage educators, parents, and students at each school site in defining the critical elements of the proposed policy.

Session 4: Policy Adoption: Defining the Work-Related Issues
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Determine the issues related to teacher/educator workload and work time related to the proposed policy that the union and district leaders need to resolve.

Session 5: Policy Implementation: Getting to Yes
Estimated Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Indicate the type of agreement (collective bargaining agreement, memorandum of understanding, memorandum of agreement) and the method by which the union and district leaders will come to agreement – Interest-Based Bargaining (IBB) or positional bargaining , a combination of both, or some other process.

 

Session 6: Policy Evaluation: Opting In/Opting Out
Estimated Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Determine if waivers to the work rules are needed in order to pilot policy changes; and define work rules and benefits that may not be waived, work rules that may be changed, and teacher-based decision making at the school site used to accept or reject proposed changes.

Course 15

 

Teacher Hiring, Placement, Retention, and Tenure

 

  • Type: Self-Facilitated Team
  • Audience: District and Union Leaders
  • Overview: The goal of this course is to enable a union and district leadership team to identify issues leading to a Human Resource Plan defining the recruitment, hiring, placement, recognition, retention practices, and tenure decisions.


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Session 1: Good Human Resource Practices
Estimated Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
Reviewing of the research from public education and private sector, including  the cost of good and bad
personnel decision making
Key Questions: What are the big human resource policies and practices that we must address? What are the best practices that we may adopt, adapt, or revise?


Session 2:   Defining Our Needs
Estimated Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Identifying the district and individual school needs in terms of teacher characteristics, knowledge, skills, cultural diversity, and dispositions
Key Question: How do we recruit both new and veteran teachers we are seeking for specific school assignments?


Session 3: Hiring
Estimated Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Reviewing, assessing, and revising the district hiring policies and practices
Key Questions: What are we doing right? What do we need to change? How do we do this collaboratively?

Session 4: Placement
Estimated Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Reviewing, assessing, and revising the district placement policies and practices
Key Questions: Are there barriers to our being successful in placing the right
teachers in the right school assignments? How do we change policies that are preventing us from meeting the needs of the district?

Session 5: Recognition and Retention
Estimated Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Acknowledging that professional compensation and recognition for performance matter
Key Questions: How do we change compensation practices? How do we acknowledge highly effective teachers? How do we address policies that may prevent us from using compensation and recognition effectively?

Session 6: Tenure
Estimated Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Learning what tenure is and isn’t in terms of federal and state labor standards
Key Questions: How do we address the public’s misperceptions about tenure? How do we collaborate to
ensure that permanent status decisions are well made?

Course 16

 

Brain and Learning

 

  • Type: Self-Study
  • Audience: Education Community
  • Overview: This course is will increase participants’ awareness of both the opportunities and limitations of what neuroscience offers to educators.


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Session 1: Introduction to Brain and Learning
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Explore why neuroscience cannot by itself solve educational challenges, but can provide insights about learning that can inform the field of education

Session 2: Brain Plasticity
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Examine how the brain is incredibly adaptive, the role of genetics and experience in shaping the brain’s physical architecture, and how there are sensitive periods that render certain types of learning more efficient at an earlier age

Session 3: Variability
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Explore how underlying literacy and mathematics networks are built over time, and differ based on learning experiences

Session 4: Emotions and Learning
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Learn how cognition and emotion are inextricably linked in the brain

Session 5: Social and Cultural Contexts
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Explore how the brain learns in social and cultural contexts

Session 6: Neuromyths
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Learn about neuromyths and examine how they circulate about the brain and learning

Session 7: Research Schools
Estimated Time: 2 hours
Learn about and consider “research schools” in which researchers collaborate with teachers to carry out practical research

Course 2: Collaborative Problem Solving and Action

Session 3: Who Owns the Work?

 


Overview: This activity is informed by two of the course’s guiding questions: 1.) Why collaborate?; and 2.)What motivates or compels us to work together, across traditional lines, as a team of educators, administrators, union leaders, community partners, and other allies supporting student learning? By utilizing a labor-management responsibility scale, individual reflection, and whole group discussion, participants begin to determine which crucial areas are the responsibilities of labor, management, or both.


Task: Use the Labor-Management Responsibility Scale handout and assess which crucial areas of education work are the responsibility of labor and which are the responsibility of management. Think about who is responsible for each of these key aspects of the work. Take your time, and please work on your own personal set of responses to each question without consulting others, and without sharing your thinking aloud. Annotate your copy for your own use and possible future reference. You have 10 minutes for this task.


Gallery Walk: Before discussing your responses, go to the large-scale version of the handout to provide your input. Use sticky notes to place somewhere along each of the continua, indicating the degree of responsibility you confer on each. Use the surface of the sticky notes, when so moved, to make a comment, add a query, supply data, or otherwise elaborate on your “vote.”


Once you have placed all your notes, take a "gallery walk" to get both the emergent sense of the group view and the details and ideas of your peers as noted on the posted additional entries.


Whole Group Discussion:

  • What surprises you?
  • What makes you curious?
  • What do you agree with?
  • What do you disagree with?
  • What more do you wonder about?
  • Do you have a question for anyone in particular?
  • How does what you are seeing help you to think about your own job, your own situation in the workplace?

 

Course 1: Leading and Sustaining Reform

Session 2: Learning From Sustained

 


Overview: This activity allows participants to examine a highly successful change program in Massachusetts ─ Brockton High School. The video and guiding questions can be used to inform a small or who group discussion.


Task: As you watch School of Thought in Brockton, Mass., explore these questions:

 

  • What changes in individual or organizational behavior am I seeing or hearing? How and why did they take place?
  • Who is exercising leadership in this case (Try to observe at least three different people who are or were acting as leaders.)? What different forms of leadership do you observe?

Course 8: Effective Professional Learning for Educators

Session 2: Standards for Professional Learning

 


Overview: Utilizing a video and guiding questions this activity provides participants with an overview of the Standards for Professional Learning provided by Learning Forward. This activity leads into a small group exploration and whole group discussion of each of the seven standards.


Task: Use the guiding questions to take notes as you watch the video. Be prepared to share your notes with the group.

  1. What big ideas emerged for you?
  2. How will the standards improve the quality and results of professional learning?
  3. What aspects of the new standards interest you most?
  4. What is clearer to you now about the standards?

FAQs

The quickest way to get started is to register by clicking the “Get Started” button at the top of the page. Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email. Please make sure to confirm your registration by clicking the link provided in the email. If you don’t receive an email, please check your spam folder. If you’re still having difficulty email course@nea.org

 

Before choosing a course to take, we recommend that you read the course and session descriptions listed on this page. These will provide you with a guide to accessing the content that best meets your interests.

The NEA Foundation courses are provided to you at no cost.

Yes. The NEA Foundation courses are designed to be flexible. We encourage you to utilize the content in a way that makes sense to your specific context. For example, you can focus on a part of a course, combine courses, or work in a group or as an individual. We invite anyone involved or interested in education to immerse themselves in the content.

Within each course there is a “Resources” tab. By clicking the tab you will be able to access course-related materials, such as instructional guides, handouts, and assignments.

Not at this time. However, the NEA Foundation does provide a CEUs Letter for each course. The letter outlines the goals, objectives, and estimated number of in- and out-of-class hours completed by the participant. We encourage each team or participant work with their district office to determine how best to secure appropriate documentation for the course they take.

Please email course@nea.org. A NEA Foundation staff member will respond to your email as quickly as possible. Please note that this email account is only monitored during business hours. Thank you in advance for your question/suggestion.

Some courses are designed for union and district leaders, while others are designed for the larger education community – administrators, education support staff, teachers, university staff and students, etc. Ultimately, we encourage anyone interested in developing their skills and knowledge in a particular area we explore to login. 

We provide two types of courses that call upon a diverse set of activities, they are:

1. Self-Study: A self-study course is designed for an individual or pair to take at their own pace. Each self-study course contains a participant’s guide (syllabus) which includes background information, additional resources, and other course-specific materials.

2. Self-Facilitated Team: A self-facilitated team course is intended for homogeneous or heterogeneous groups to work through a set of team-oriented tasks. These courses are designed to be facilitated by a team member. A facilitator’s guide with recommended activities and additional resources is provided for each team-oriented course. The guide and its activities align with the online instructional slides.

Please email course@nea.org if you have questions or feedback.

Are you interested using the NEA Foundation courses to form a study group? Learn more about the NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership Grants, which fund individual and group professional development projects for public school educators.

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