Science of Teaching and School

Leadership Academy


July 23-27, 2017


There is no greater challenge or opportunity facing schools today than attracting and retaining the next generation of high-quality teachers and school leaders. But what if teachers and school leaders knew more about how the student and adult brain learns, changes, and thrives?

Research has shown that better understanding the science of learning provides educators enhanced professional satisfaction, confidence, and self-efficacy and leads to greater differentiation of their instruction to support individual learning differences. As schools strive to ensure that our next generation of students learn from well-trained and high-performing teachers and leaders, knowledge of the principles and strategies of Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) Science will be essential; it is the most innovative thinking being applied to enhancing teacher quality and student achievement today.

In the spring of 2015, the CTTL received an Educational Leadership Grant from the E.E. Ford Foundation to design and launch the first of its kind Science of Teaching and School Leadership Academy, a five-day professional development workshop with two strands: one for teachers and another for school leaders. Co-designed by the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning and individual faculty from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and the Johns Hopkins University Science of Learning Institute, this Academy empowers teachers and leaders to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Use Mind, Brain and Education Science research to inform their teaching or school leadership
  • Design and incubate a research project to take back to their schools

  • Earn CEUs from Johns Hopkins University (additional costs apply)

Each summer, up to 100 participants, including independent and public school teachers, Teach for America (DC) corps members, and school leaders, will participate in this Academy and receive ongoing mentoring and programmatic support throughout the school year.  Partner schools that commit to participating in the first three years of the Academy will participate in a research study led by faculty of the Science of Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University, which will measure how the professional development experience of Academy participants impacts teacher efficacy, pedagogical practice, student achievement, and long-term commitment to the teaching profession.

The work of the CTTL, and specifically the Academy, seeks to help teachers and school leaders apply the growing body of educational neuroscience research to the design of their schools and classrooms and work with each individual student. Our goal is for all students–regardless of zip code or school type—to learn and develop with the guidance of a teacher who knows the research behind how his or her brain works, learns, and changes.