Today’s students hold worlds of information in their hands. They learn in ways personalized to their interests and needs. They learn in and beyond classrooms. To meet them where they are, teachers need to learn the same way. The WW Academy prepares teachers to succeed in today’s and tomorrow’s classrooms, focusing on outcomes—what they know and can do. Get more details about the degree program.
- The WW Academy is focused on you as a learner
Your previous experience and your grasp of what you learn, as a prospective teacher, will determine the speed of your coursework and the sequence of what you are studying. To progress through the WW Academy, you will demonstrate that you have mastered all the elements a beginning teacher must know and be able to do to succeed in the classroom. And because you will learn through the WW Academy’s personalized learning approach, you will also be better equipped to lead classrooms that emphasize personalized learning—you’ll have first-hand experience with this emerging approach to learning.
- Your STEM content knowledge is what will make you an excellent teacher
The WW Academy only focuses on the preparation of STEM teachers. We recognize the importance of STEM subjects and of putting the best STEM minds in charge of K–12 STEM classrooms. We require all of our students to bring specific STEM knowledge and experience. From similar work at 28 universities in five states, we know there is a huge difference, for instance, between those who know science like chemistry and biology at the university level versus those who just know science education. We believe every great teacher needs to be a content expert.
- You’ll work with the best of the best in education, teacher prep, STEM, tech
We are partnering with only the best. We were incubated by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, which represents Nobel Laureates and international prize winners, and which has led transformations of STEM teacher preparation on dozens of university campuses across the country. The program was built in collaboration with MIT, and we are working with MIT researchers and learning scientists to provide you the very best when it comes to technology, gaming, and other components often attributed to the cognitive sciences. We are providing every prospective teacher with a rigorous assisted reality environment so they can practice their teaching through Mursion simulations, as an aspiring pilot would work in a flight simulator. At the WW Academy, you work with the best of the best.
- You’ll have the strongest STEM clinical experience available in the field
Our program is clinically based, meaning you will work, practice, and demonstrate your abilities in real learning environments— K–12 classrooms, as well as the out-of-school settings where students increasingly spend learning time— from the start of your program. Teaching is one of the most challenging professions, and the clinical experience needs to be robust and cutting-edge, not a “check the box” on the way to licensure. As a teacher, you will be devoting many hours to a K–12 classroom. We believe you should be prepared in one as well, so every lesson is relevant to what you will experience as a classroom teacher. This way, there are no surprises when you are a teacher of record in your own classroom; you will be able to succeed from day one. We’ve designed the relationship with your mentors to continue formally for two years after you graduate for additional support.
- We want rockstar educators... like you!
Ultimately, the WW Academy is preparing teachers who will be the true education leaders of the future. Our graduates will be rockstar educators. They will be successful teachers in today’s schools, but will also be the innovators and builders who will create the schools of the future. They will be able to apply everything they have learned and experienced— both as student and teacher— and use it to construct learning opportunities that ensure every student has access to and success in the very best of STEM education in the future.
WW Academy teacher candidates must demonstrate a specific set of competencies—the skills, knowledge, and dispositions to lead their own classrooms successfully from day one. To show that they have mastered these competencies Academy candidates work through a series of challenges that teachers face in real classrooms. These challenges replace traditional courses. The Academy’s core competencies appear in a number of challenges; to graduate, teacher candidates learn, practice, and finally demonstrate all of the competencies.
In tomorrow’s schools, the focus will shift from teaching to student learning. New teachers must be able to define and measure learning outcomes, translate a subject area into these outcomes, and monitor and support individual students’ progress.
Successful novice teachers must manage their learning spaces in ways that foster trust and respect, establish norms, support procedures, and sustain teaching and learning. WW Academy teachers must also understand how to integrate available technology and resources into their environments.
WW Academy teachers learn to think as designers, understanding and considering each student’s needs as they craft learning opportunities. Candidates create individual and adaptive learning plans for all students, grounded in the cognitive sciences. They learn to tailor instruction to those plans and design assessments to track students’ understanding.
Teachers must demonstrate professionalism, character, and commitment when they interact with students, collaborate with colleagues, and work with families and the community. New teachers will need to adapt quickly and call on their skills, knowledge, and character to lead educational change as today’s schools evolve.
A proficient novice teacher must be able to see and address what each student needs to learn. Beyond mastering the content area and effective ways of teaching it, the successful WW Academy teacher candidate will serve as an instructor and coach, navigating the strengths and challenges facing each learner.
I think this program is changing the way we think about experience and merit. Really, we’re learning by doing, that’s the point of a challenge. There’s theory, but the entire challenge isn’t grounded in only theory, the challenge is grounded in you actually going out and doing things and practicing the things that the Academy thinks would make a good teacher.
The Clinical Experience
Practice in a Real Classroom
The best way to learn is by doing. That is why the WW Academy gets teacher candidates into the classroom right away. Paired with an experienced teacher from a collaborating school in a nearby district and with out-of-school-time (OST) partners, teacher candidates will be able to practice what they learn, get experience managing a real classroom, and work with other teachers and administrators in a supervised, safe space. By spending more time in actual student learning environments, candidates will be well prepared to design and lead their own classrooms and learning spaces after graduation.