Recently in Social Studies Category

The report describes the range of implementation strategies and activities early adopter districts and sites have used in the implementation of the Quality Compensation Program (Q Comp), which is the alternative pay initiative enacted by the Minnesota Legislature. It also summarizes successes and concerns of those pilot sites, since their experiences can be highly informative for other districts and charter schools moving forward to create their own Q Comp plans.

In an effort to improve teaching and learning and to assist teachers in implementing the graduation standards, the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning sponsored a project called Linking Authentic Instruction, which provided a group of predominantly secondary social studies teachers in the Minneapolis School District the opportunity to participate in a series of professional development seminars. The goals of the seminars were for teachers to be able to: 1) Translate the theoretical framework that links the Minnesota High Standards and authentic pedagogy (instruction and assessment) into practice; 2) Create peer-coaching teams to embed the authentic instruction criteria into daily practice at each participating site; 3) Implement model lessons and score their own students' work. This report is a result of an evaluation done to answer these questions.

Toward Authentic Assessment AND Instruction: A Framework for Educators is a handbook for teachers interested in developing more meaningful teaching and learning experiences in their classrooms. It was developed as part of a project entitled Authentic Pedagogy in the Social Studies (APSS), a collaborative effort between three Minnesota school districts (La-Crescent- Hokah, Minneapolis, and West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Public School Districts) and the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. The APSS Project, funded by the Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning, brought middle and high school social studies teachers from each of three districts together for monthly seminars during the 1998-99 academic year. The day- long seminars focused on how the principles of authentic pedagogy could be translated into classroom practice. Specifically, the goals were that teachers be able to: 1. Translate the theoretical framework that links the Minnesota High Standards, authentic assessment tasks, and authentic instruction into practice; 2. Create meaningful assessments and corresponding rubrics that address the Minnesota High Standards; and 3. Evaluate Minnesota High Standards performance packages and teacher-designed assessment tasks, student work, and one's own teaching in terms of authenticity. This guide describes the content and structure of the seminars, so that others may learn from our experiences.