Student achievement: what is it and how to achieve it?

The EL Education 2019 National Conference took place in Atlanta, USA. Kenli Okada, Jacobs Social Entrepreneurship Fellow, reports about the inspiring conference focused on student achievement.

“I learned about using data to support teaching social-emotional skills in the classroom and I’m going to use that in my work with schools”, says Jacobs Social Entrepreneurship Fellow Kenli Okada after attending the EL Education National Conference in Atlanta, GA (USA) from October 16th to October 19th.  EL Education is a nonprofit in the United States that provides both curricular resources and coaching to support schools in developing three dimensions of student achievement – mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high-quality student work.  The conference brings researchers, practitioners, and other education leaders together to strengthen a shared vision for what well-rounded student achievement looks like and to give participants the tools they need to bring that vision to life.

The opening session highlighted what high-quality student work can look like. The session was emceed by two high school students who had practiced their emcee responsibilities for several months.  The result was that they demonstrated professional-level work, and they proved that students can create a work product that is just as high-quality as adults.  They illustrated that educators and society should have high expectations of students and provide them the support they need to show their full potential.  Other sessions included “Equitable Learning Environments: What are they, and how do you know if you are building them?” “Social-Emotional Learning Through Data-Driven Instruction” and many others.

The Jacobs Network sponsored Social Entrepreneurship fellow Kenli Okada to attend the conference.  Kenli works to develop data use in K-12 schools in the Washington, DC area, and after the conference, Kenli spoke about its impact on his work. “Attending a conference where all the sessions are grounded in a larger framework and yet are immediately applicable is directly aligned to why I am excited to be part of the Jacobs Network.  The Jacobs Network brings together researchers and social entrepreneurs so that ideas can come to life, and that is what I got out of this conference.”