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Meg Riordan Named Deeper Learning Equity Fellow

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    April Hattori

Expeditionary Learning’s Meg Riordan has been chosen as one of 10 emerging leaders in the initial cohort of the Deeper Learning Equity Fellowship, a partnership between the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Big Picture Learning, and the Internationals Network for Public Schools.

Riordan is the Project Director for Expeditionary Learning's Teacher Potential Project, which studies the impact of EL's curriculum and coaching supports on students' achievement and teachers' classroom practices and retention.

All students can benefit from Deeper Learning practices and instruction. However, equitable access to such opportunities is not always available to students of color, immigrant youth, English language learners, and youth in poverty. Addressing this problem will require adding to and sometimes altering the common language, providing exemplars of equitable deeper learning practices, and increasing the number of school, district, and classroom leaders of color.

The Deeper Learning Equity Fellows will tackle this issue, not merely by creating interventions, but by figuring out and breaking through the barriers that prevent these interventions from occurring in the first place. Over the course of the next two years, Riordan (along with the other Equity Fellows) will design and conduct a capstone action project addressing a major challenge related to equitable access to deeper learning.

The Deeper Learning Equity Fellows will work with a number prominent education innovators and influencers--such as Linda Darling-Hammond, Howard Fuller, Pedro Noguera, Elliot Washor, and others--who will act as mentors to their projects. ( “We are extremely honored to collaborate with such outstanding national and emerging leaders, each with a deep, rooted commitment to deeper learning,” said Carlos Moreno, Executive Director of Big Picture Learning and Co-leader of this project (with Claire Sylvan of Internationals Network for Public Schools). “Together, I truly believe we’ll see a notable impact on equity in public education within the next three years.”

A full list of the Deeper Learning Equity Fellows can be found here. 

Prior to joining Expeditionary Learning as the Project Director for Expeditionary Learning's Teacher Potential Project, Meg was the Regional Director for NYC Outward Bound Schools. Meg’s research centers on teacher professional learning, school reform, scaling up educational models, and experiential education. She also teaches an online Instructional strategies course through St. Joseph’s College in Maine. Meg received her B.A. in Education from Marquette University, her M.A. in Writing from DePaul University,and her Ph.D. in Teaching & Learning from New York University. Meg taught middle and high school English in Milwaukee and Chicago and English as a Second Language at DePaul University and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kazakhstan.

The Deeper Learning Equity Fellows is a cohort-based leadership program that aims to develop, strengthen, and sustain a group of diverse and exceptional leaders who will influence the policies and practices that expand access to Deeper Learning in public education across the country.

In classrooms where deeper learning is the focus, you find students who are motivated and challenged—who look forward to their next assignment. They apply what they have learned in one subject area to newly encountered situations in another. They can see how their classwork relates to real life. They are gaining an indispensable set of knowledge, skills, and beliefs, including: mastery of core content academic content, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, eective communication, self-directed learning, and an academic mindset. When students are developing knowledge, skills, and academic mindsets simultaneously, they learn more eciently. They acquire and retain more academic knowledge when they are engaged, believe their studies are important, and are able to apply what they are learning in complex and meaningful ways.