California Educator

February 2014

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FEATURE LAB SCHOOLS HAVE INNOVATION DOWN TO A SCIENCE BY SHERRY POSNICK-GOODWIN of the Emmy Award-winning show "Grey's Anatomy," you know it is set in a university "teaching hospital," which provides education and training to future and current doctors, while offering patients the latest cutting-edge treatments in life-and-death situations. Serving a similar function for educators instead of doctors are "teaching schools" with university ties. They're facilities where all participants are lifelong learners, ranging from university professors and college students to pre-K–12 teachers and their pupils. Known as "lab schools" or "professional development schools," these campuses offer opportunities for: I F YO U A R E A FA N Play teaches thinking skills, as Amelie Castro and Gus White discover (right). Meanwhile, Kate Ha and Siriana Thampi work together on indoor plants. • uture teachers who want to apply theory to F real classrooms. • SU professors who want to keep up with C what's happening in pre-K–12 schools to keep instruction relevant. • ollege researchers who need a facility to observe C students for studies about learning and behavior. • -12 teachers seeking new ideas from university K professors and the next generation of teachers while sharing their own expertise. • hildren who benefit from all of the above in a dynamic, C cutting-edge environment. Many former lab schools stopped operating in this mode, trading innovation for pacing guides under NCLB. A few remain, and it is hoped more will flourish in this new era of local control as educators think outside the box and take advantage of an amazing resource — higher education — available in their own backyard. Here's a look at three lab schools that have innovation down to a science. 24 Educator 02 Feb 2014 v2.1 int.indd 24 FE B RUARY 20 14 PHOTOGRAPHY BY SCOTT BUSCHMAN 1/27/14 3:52 PM

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