Stanford course prepares educators for the new school year

A three-week online course specifically designed to help K-12 teachers and administrators foster a culture of productive and respectful communication in their classrooms starts August 2016

The ability to communicate effectively is increasingly recognized as an important skill for students entering the workforce. Two new initiatives that guide educators – the College and Career Readiness Standards and the Framework for 21st Century Learning – identify communication and collaboration as key elements of student learning. The standards particularly describe the importance of students understanding the reasoning of others and engaging in meaningful conversations using critical thinking.

Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education has launched a short online course designed specifically to help educators create rich and meaningful opportunities for communication within the classroom. The course, Effective Conversation in the Classroom, launches this August with three online sessions. K-12 classroom instructors, instructional coaches, and educational administrators are invited to enroll.

Each session includes expert video screencasts, classroom video clips, readings and resources, and assignments that will help participants create a strong foundation of communication within the classroom. The course has been developed by Understanding Language/SCALE, a Stanford research and practice center focused on K-12 language and performance assessment. The teaching team consists of Stanford Professor Emeritus Kenji Hakuta, Senior Researcher Dr. Jeff Zwiers and Lecturer Dr. Sara Rutherford-Quach.

“Speaking, listening and conversation among students are valuable ways to help students think critically and communicate effectively,” says Hakuta. “Yet meaningful peer to peer interaction is actually somewhat rare in the classroom. Effective Conversation in the Classroom will strengthen educators’ ability to meet the new language demands and improve student learning.”

Prospective participants can learn more through a free webinar offered by the Stanford Center for Professional Development on July 20 from 10-11 am. Rich Talk=Rich Learning: How to Establish a Culture of Constructive Conversation will examine the importance of productive communication among students and approaches to guiding effective student discourse.

Register for both the webinar and the three-week online course through the Stanford Center for Professional Development. Group discounts are available.

Laura Ascione

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