Upcoming Courses



Sign Up for Our Free Online Professional Development Courses this Spring!


Instruction-Focused Courses

Supporting Student Argumentation in English Language Arts and History/Social Studies (03/20/2018 - 05/31/2018)



New College- and Career-Ready standards emphasize the importance of speaking, listening, and engaging in argumentation as both a means of learning learning AND a valuable goal of learning. Starting March 20, Drs. Sara Rutherford-Quach, Jeff Zwiers  and Erika Johnson at Stanford Graduate School of Education will offer an online professional development course that focuses on student argumentation, Supporting Student Argumentation in English Language Arts and Social Studies. The overall purpose of this course is to help teachers prepare students, and particularly language learners, to clearly communicate well-structured oral and written arguments about content-area concepts and topics.

This course consists of five online sessions, which will be released in succession. Each session includes expert video screencasts, classroom video clips, readings and resources, and assignments that will prompt participants to strengthen the curricular foundations of communication. Participants are free to complete the session tasks at their own pace as long as they finish them before the course sends on May 31. During the course, participants will learn to:

  • listen purposefully to assess student argumentation
  • craft effective prompts and create argumentation opportunities within lessons
  • model and build activities for identifying, evaluating, and improving argumentation supports
  • provide productive feedback to students and make instructional changes to strengthen arguments

This argumentation course is based on a previous course offered by Rutherford-Quach and professors Karen Thompson and Kenji Hakuta. The current course has been revised and augmented based on participant feedback and to reflect the content-area specializations. Classroom teachers and instructional coaches are encouraged to take the course together with their colleagues and friends.