Reinvigorate your classroom.
You know that students learn best by doing, be it academic content or social-emotional skills. Enhance your classroom practice with complex, interesting, real-world learning opportunities that authentically boost student motivation and achievement while meeting academic standards. Integrate technology and develop quality assessment tools to document student success. The Critical Skills Classroom has everything you need to energize and inspire your students!
This degree is offered by AU New England.
Our Problem-Based Learning concentration uses the highly regarded Critical Skills Classroom. Since 1986, the Critical Skills program has offered educators a powerful set of learning experiences in support of classroom and school change initiatives through the MEd program as well as via institutes and workshops through the Antioch Center for School Renewal.
The Critical Skills Classroom is a comprehensive approach that creatively and effectively integrates four powerful teaching methodologies:
- collaborative learning
- experiential learning
- problem-based learning
- standards-aligned/ competency-based learning
The Critical Skills Classroom is a mindset in which the teacher and the student are co-learners, engaged in the same learning process but focused on different learning goals. Students in the Critical Skills Concentration will not only learn about the CSC, but through it, learning with program faculty who are current k-12 teachers and leaders and who have significant experience and success implementing Critical Skills in their own classrooms.
Graduates of our Critical Skills/ Problem-Based Learning (PBL) concentration are able to:
- Design powerful, real-world, problem-based learning experiences (aka Challenges) that target student acquisition of essential knowledge, critical skills and fundamental dispositions.
- Create strong, safe, collaborative classroom communities built on the principles of sustainability, inclusion and equity.
- Integrate, visibly and intentionally, the development of the Critical Skills and Fundamental Disposition with content learning. These skills include:
The Critical Skills
- Problem Solving
- Critical Thinking
- Decision Making
- Creative Thinking
The Fundamental Dispositions
- Self Direction
- Curiosity and Wonder
- Engineer and implement comprehensive competency-based, authentic assessment practices, both formative and summative, to inform learning and teaching.
Our small, fully online courses combine the flexibility of online learning with the community and collegiality you crave. You’ll learn with educators from all over the world, creating new expertise via experiential learning, application of new ideas, and creation of new tools and strategies. Classes focus on both theoretical and practical exploration, impacting your teaching in both the short and long term. Most importantly, we realize that our students are working professionals with busy lives, so we work with you to make the best use of your time and meet your individual learning goals.
- 5-7 semesters
- 33 credits – fully on-line and low residency options available
- One-two courses per term
- Building Inclusive Learning Communities
- Teacher Facilitation in the PBL Classroom
- Instructional Design and Assessment
- Principles of STEAM
- Tech Tools for All Learners
- The Developing Mind * also offered as an on-campus summer option
- Philosophy of Education * also offered as an on-campus summer option
- Teaching in the Critical Skills Classroom (online) OR Critical Skills Classroom Immersion (On Campus)
- Child Study
- Equity and Change
- Critical Skills Classroom Immersion (On Campus) OR Introduction to the Critical Skills Classroom (online)
For course descriptions, please see the current course catalog.
Optional Summer Residencies
If you choose to come to a summer residency instead of doing your program fully on-line, you can expect one or two weeks of a retreat-like experience in beautiful Keene, NH. Small classes offer lots of hands-on activities, community-based learning opportunities, and a socially engaging week of meeting with your on-line classmates and AUNE faculty. In most concentrations you have a choice of whether to attend face-to-face classes for either one or two weeks in the summer, and you don’t have to decide in advance. You can consult with your adviser and see what fits your schedule and learning style best.
Dates for residencies
The Experienced Educators Summer Residency Courses are held the first two full weeks of July following the week of the Fourth of July holiday- typically the first and second or second and third weeks of the month. You can choose to attend for the first or second week, or come for both weeks depending on your program.
This program provides an opportunity for public school teachers to advance on the salary schedule in accordance with district and school policies. Additionally, the acquisition of new skills and knowledge will improve classroom practice creating opportunities for new job roles within the school and district environment.
6-8 possible job titles:
- Lead Teacher
- Department Chair
- Classroom teacher
- Experienced Educator
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