Focused on understanding and applying the learning sciences at the district level, our consulting services align initiatives, and audit curriculum materials to align with learning principles. This effort is an optional service for districts. At the school level, consulting serves to align student work and teacher delivery to the learning sciences through a teacher summer writing workshop.
FASL consulting typically addresses one or more of three needs. One, to explain the science to district administration. Have you ever taken a course on the design of student practice? Probably not. Learning the science was not, and usually is not, part of educating a teacher. Two, is to explain the change model. Large scale change relies on social influences or transmission that is capable of transforming an entire culture. Why does that work more than evidence or simple explanation? Finally, there is alignment. This is the most expensive and time consuming and FASL prefers to do it with teachers. Most curriculum purchases are aligned with state content standards. Few, if any, districts align purchases with learning science principles. Check the pacing guides in a subject. Take science, as an example. Is the student asked to repeat memory retrieval and application for at least three days after initial learning? Is memory retrieval and application repeated again a few months later? What about in the following years? The brain is wired to forget. There are several mental tools to compensate for forgetting but the two strongest are repetition and association. If they are not well designed with variation into the curriculum, they simply do not happen and cramming for the end-of-year test becomes essential.