In the News

Stories of Teaching and Learning

The Inspired Teaching philosophy is most alive in teachers’ classrooms and we look forward to any opportunity to shine a light on what exceptional teaching can and should be.  

Learning, Lost & Found: 4 Things To Do To Make School Worth It This Year

Getting Smart October 14, 2021
“As we continue to pour resources into risk mitigation, let’s commit to eliminating the risk of returning to old-school practices that put students in a passive, information-recipient role. ” –Aleta Margolis

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Sharing Inspired Teaching with Talks With… July 21, 2021
“Learning happens when people feel comfortable with each other and when there is an academic challenge that isn’t too hard and isn’t too easy, to use the technical term, it’s in the zone of proximal development.” –Cosby Hunt

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Building Education Systems Fit for the 21st Century

Women of the World Endowment, June 24, 2021
“Teachers have become very real people to their kids during this past year and a half. While that’s been challenging in lots of ways, there’s a lot of benefit to it because we can model as thoughtful adults how we navigate crises: what we’ve figured out, what we’re doing well, where we’re stumbling, what we do when we stumble. I believe that deeper connection that we’ve been forced into will move us in a good direction and my deepest hope is that we use this opportunity to rethink how we teach.” –Aleta Margolis

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A Profile of Inspired Teaching

Comcast Newsmakers, April 5, 2021
“As we know, democracy relies on participation, but it relies on informed participation. And to my mind, that’s why we have school. That’s why we have universal public education so that everybody can learn to make thoughtful decisions based on information and we learn to practice that in school.” –Aleta Margolis

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How the pandemic is reshaping education

The Washington Post, March 15, 2021
“The best thing educators can do right now is to gather as much information as possible about what students have experienced over the past year — their learning, their worries, and their ideas — and take that data seriously and build on it as we return to in-person learning.” –Aleta Margolis

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Real World History Community Exhibition – The Phillips Collection

The Phillips Collection, March 6 – May 16, 2021
The Phillips Collection collaborated with high school students in our Real World History class for this community exhibition. Using Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series as a springboard for conversations about the legacy of the Great Migration and the universal theme of struggle in the world today, the students conducted oral histories of individuals who moved from the South to Washington, DC, prior to 1970 and created written explanations for several of Lawrence’s works.

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The Great Migration becomes a great subject for District high school students

The Washington Post, February 23, 2021
“Two years ago, D.C. high school student Isabella Ramos-Bracho took a class on the Great Migration. The most memorable part: meeting an actual Great Migrator. That was Edith Crutchfield, who was among the more than 5 million African Americans who left the rural South to move north in search of opportunity. That meeting — and the oral-history interview that Ramos-Bracho conducted with Crutchfield — was part of a class called “Real World History” that’s open to all D.C. high-schoolers.”
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Teachers to Biden: What we want from your administration

The Washington Post, February 3, 2021
“Our recommendations are informed by practice and pedagogy. We speak from the lived experience of teachers and students here in D.C. and nationwide, and decades of experience in working to ensure that all students have access to an empowering education.” – Jenna Fournel, Cosby Hunt, Aleta Margolis
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How to talk, and listen, to your students during times of crisis

ASCD Inservice, January 8, 2021
“These are scary times, and discussing scary things is hard to do—especially with students. But talking about, and learning about things that matter is what students want, need, and deserve to do in school. The purpose of school is to teach young people how to participate in, and one day lead, our democracy. And that goal is more important now than it has ever been.” – Aleta Margolis
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Lessons from an Insurrection: A Day After D.C. Rampage, How 15 Educators From Across U.S. Helped Students Make Sense of the Chaos

The 74 Million, January 7, 2021
“In [A.P. U.S. History], I think I’m just going to open up the floor to students sharing what they’re thinking and wondering. I may do free write with sentence starters like: ‘I saw… I heard… I’m feeling… I wonder about …’” – Cosby Hunt
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SPECIAL REPORT: Discussing Sedition in the Classroom, Should We?

BAM! Radio January 2021
While teachers and students were shocked and confused over the attack on the United States Capitol, we asked eight educators to share their thoughts on the academic dilemma created by this historic moment in American history. Are any of us really ready to discuss sedition in the classroom? Should we just leave it to social studies and civic teachers?
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Turn & Talk / Cosby Hunt on Helping Students Speak Truth

ASCD Educational Leadership, April 2020
Cosby Hunt explains Speak Truth, a monthly after-school seminar at which dozens of high school students from around the District of Columbia—representing a mix of public, charter, and private schools—gather to discuss pressing social issues.
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Tips For Educators On Teaching Politics Without Partisanship

WAMU 88.5, December 7, 2017
As the political climate intensifies across the country, politics are finding their way into classrooms across the Washington region. A report released by UCLA this year says that teacher concerns about student stress and well-being are rising alongside classroom polarization and incivility. Kojo Nnamdi talks with Cosby Hunt, Clint Smith, and Eric DeKenipp about how schools can proactively address politics within the classroom without imposing ideology.

Educator: Schools shouldn’t merely allow students to protest. They should support them.

Washington Post, Oct. 19, 2017
“When we lead students in courageous conversations and consider social justice issues in the classroom, we teach students how to lead courageous conversations of their own.” – Jane Dimyan Ehrenfeld
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Mom: My daughter’s kindergarten teachers asked me what motivates her. I find that troubling.

The Washington Post, September 14, 2017
“School must be more than comfortable and exciting; it must be engaging. Rewards and consequences demand little from our children. We can buy children’s obedience (or the perception of their obedience) most of the time with prizes — especially when the children are young. But easily purchased obedience has little, if any, relation to authentic engagement, and so when we expect little, we get little in return.” – Jane Dimyan Ehrenfeld
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The National Writing Project, Educator Innovator, May 22, 2017
In these videos commissioned by the National Writing Project (NWP), LRNG awardee Cosby Hunt and his students are featured as part of a unique after-school elective called Real World History. Through a partnership with DC Public Schools, Real World History gives students the chance to explore the past by interning at museums, libraries, and historical sites across Washington, D.C.
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What a classroom engaged in real learning looks like

The Washington Post, April 9, 2015
“The next time you have the opportunity to visit a classroom, take a moment to observe closely. Do you see compliance or true engagement? Are students pulling facts out of a book or are they building independent problem-solving skills and meaningful connections?” – Aleta Margolis
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Letting kids move in class isn’t a break from learning. It IS learning.

The Washington Post, January 19, 2015
“We’ve come a long way in our understanding of the development of young minds. Yet despite research proving the lasting benefits of serious play, too many of our classrooms remain still, silent places, lacking any element of physical movement.” – Aleta Margolis
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“The young people who are currently high school, middle school, and elementary school students will be our country’s leaders in the not too distant future. They deserve an education that is relevant and engages them in things that matter.”

— Jenna Fournel, Cosby Hunt and Aleta Margolis, Washington Post, February 3, 2021