Knowledge Matters School Tour

 

What is the Knowledge Matters
School Tour?

A visit to elementary schools around the country that have embraced a vision of profoundly enriched literacy instruction for all students, including traditionally underserved student populations, by building their broad knowledge of the world.

What is the purpose of the tour?

Our goal is to “find the good and praise it.” We want to lift-up the stories of educators who use the power of knowledge-rich schooling to promote excellence, provide equity, and inspire passion.  The schools we’ll be visiting—all serving a majority low-income student population—have made a deliberate decision to put building knowledge at the center of everything they do. In these classrooms, students don’t just learn to read, but read to learn.

What is knowledge-rich schooling?

Knowledge-rich schools are distinguished by the central role that building knowledge of the world plays in school design, scheduling, curricular choice, professional development of teachers, teacher/student dialogue, culture—indeed everything that goes on in the school. Deep and shared engagements with a wide range of quality informational and literary texts, and a high volume of reading at varying complexity levels, drives English language arts instruction. Students typically receive far more science, social studies/history, and art and music instruction than is currently seen in the average public school and this instruction is often integrated into their reading/language arts curriculum and materials.

How have the schools been selected?

The schools included in the Knowledge Matters School Tour showcase a variety of instructional approaches and curricula designed to build students’ knowledge. No two schools are the same—representing different geographic locations, demographic diversity and governance structures. Some of the schools are veterans at building knowledge; others are just starting the journey. All are schools with a compelling story to tell about the power of knowledge-rich instruction for improving student outcomes.

The 74 to Host Knowledge Matters
School Tour Travel Blog

Happy New Year to all our friends!  It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words—so we’ve decided to start 2018 off with a tour of public schools that are bringing knowledge-rich schooling to students who need it the most.

We’ll be chronicling our observations on a travel blog hosted by The 74. Launching at the end of January, the blog will feature sights and sounds from each school stop along the way.

Since StandardsWork adopted the Knowledge Matters Campaign, we have frequently been asked, “What defines knowledge-rich schooling?” We generally answer this question by pointing to the type of curriculum used by the school:  Is it intentionally built to introduce broad knowledge of the world? Do students engage in a high volume of reading, on a variety of topics, from a wide range of quality informational and literary texts? How much history, geography, science, music, and art are students receiving?

When teachers have the type of high-quality curriculum used at knowledge-rich schools, they can focus less on lesson planning and more on the delivery of engaging lessons that inspire passion, promote excellence, and enhance educational equity.

Children growing up in poverty, to parents with limited schooling, suffer the most when schools fail to prioritize knowledge building. While their more privileged peers have homes filled with books and family dialogue about world events, this is often not the case for recent immigrants or kids growing up in homes where parents work multiple jobs.

The schools we’ll be visiting—all serving a majority low-income student population—have made a deliberate decision to put building knowledge at the center of everything they do. In these classrooms, students don’t just learn to read, but read to learn.

We’ll be visiting seven schools, traveling from Riverside, CA, to New Haven, CT. It is our aim to tell the story of the teachers and students that make up these schools and, in doing so, provide greater insights into the journey of becoming “knowledge-rich.”

All future announcements about the Tour—including the final schedule—will be coming to you directly from the Knowledge Matters Campaign. And be sure to check out The 74 for exciting content from each tour stop!

How can I follow the tour?