The UCDS Institute

Our Approach

By Teachers For Teachers

The UCDS Institute creates and cultivates professional development opportunities, innovative programs, and educational partnerships. Like UCDS Schools, the Institute also operates as a non-profit, committed to promoting teacher excellence and enhancing education at UCDS and in the broader community.

Every resource associated with the UCDS Institute is designed by our faculty. 

Programs, Partnerships & Professional Growth

The UCDS Institute was established in 2001 and is supported by the John Neilson Endowment Fund.

At UCDS, we thrive in an environment where learning and evolving is paramount. Our long history as a lab school lends itself to our innovative foundation of collaborative teaching and learning. Partnerships with other educators and researchers from around the world enable our faculty to hone their craft, evolve professionally, and share ideas with others. This shared “growth mindset” culture is the Institute’s most valuable asset.

Hallmarks of UCDS Philosophy:

  • Math Vitamin® Constructing Mathematical Understanding with hands-on, project-based, open-ended problem solving and math manipulatives.  
    • Math Manipulative Spotlight
      Take a deep dive into Pattern Blocks, Base Ten, Cuisinaire Rods, etc. to explore their diversity of application for meaningful math learning, differentiation, and assessment.
    • Student-Centered Communication Fostering independence, resilience, and community for learners using communication styles, room design, and pedagogy
      • Class Meeting: Fostering Student Voice through Democratic Practice
  • Designing Engaging Educational Spaces
  • Individuating Educational Goals in a Multi-Age Classroom
  • Literature Circles: Building reading skills, fostering a critical consciousness 
  • Mentorship: Fostering Development for All Educators
    • Consultation on the evolution of UCDS mentorship. Explore goal setting, feedback, and programming to foster professional growth for all educators.

The UCDS Institute creates opportunities for teachers to:

  • Establish collaborative partnerships with other educators through forums, community events, and subject-related courses.
  • Access educational resources that help elevate their craft and directly benefit their students and colleagues.
  • Earn a Graduate Degree in Education and/or School Leadership.
  • Work beside a UCDS master teacher as a UCDS Resident. Resident Teaching Program: Research and Design with emerging educators