Professional Development

Accelerate Learning, in 5 Weeks

By Debra Viadero — March 16, 2023 2 min read
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Dear Educator,

Student learning did not bounce back as the pandemic wound down. Study after study shows schools continue to struggle to get students up to grade level—at least what was considered to be grade level before COVID-19 burst on the scene. To get learning back on schedule, schools can’t continue to put new instruction on pause while they remediate, or fill in, the concepts and skills students missed when schools shut down during the pandemic. They have to do better: They have to accelerate learning, which means continuing apace with grade-level instruction, while attending to the holes in students’ learning.

It’s tricky, complex work that is continually informed by new research. To help educators and administrators get up to speed on learning acceleration, Education Week has put together a research-based email “mini-course.” It’s called Accelerate Learning.

Over five weeks, subscribers can get one easy-to-digest lesson a week on some aspect of learning acceleration. The weekly segments address how to diagnose and assess learning gaps, ways to differentiate learning for the wide range of skills and knowledge students are bringing to class right now, the most promising approaches to tutoring, and social and emotional supports for students whose academic confidence needs a boost.

Each edition is written, curated, and edited by two Education Week staffers: Sarah D. Sparks, an assistant editor and writer who has covered education research for nearly 20 years, and Debra Viadero (that’s me), a writer and assistant managing editor with more than three decades of experience in the field.

Here’s what you can expect from EdWeek’s mini-course on learning acceleration:

  • A concise, straightforward explanation on what learning acceleration is, how it works, and why it’s critical to helping students recover from pandemic disruptions.
  • Lessons from leading-edge research on acceleration across grades and subject areas.
  • Examples of strategies teachers are using to fill knowledge and skills gaps while staying on pace in the curriculum.
  • Advice from experts in the field on how to fix common problems of practice.
  • Actionable steps teachers can use to boost student learning with available resources.
  • Deeper, more nuanced understanding of pandemic-era teaching challenges and how school leaders can best support their staff.
  • A certificate of completion for three hours of professional development.

This mini-course is underwritten by a grant from the Spencer Foundation, a Chicago-based philanthropy that supports research in education. But the content is solely determined by Education Week writers and editors.

So far, readers seem to have found it useful.
“It works,” one course-taker wrote. “I plan to use some of the information to drive new teacher training when school returns in the fall. This information was very helpful and could benefit first year teachers as they make plans for the upcoming school year.”

The course is the first of a series of newsletter courses designed to help busy professionals like you get just-in-time learning and quick access to new information to help you do your job better.

It’s free to sign up; just make a brief visit here. I look forward to seeing you in your inboxes!


Debra Viadero
Editor, Accelerate Learning

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