If there’s one thing everyone in education can agree on, it’s that the COVID-19 pandemic has had profound implications for schools. Among other things, it has exposed and intensified deep systemic inequities, and it has left many students and teachers struggling with the effects of stress, trauma, and disrupted routines. At the same time, it has opened up potential new pathways for teaching and learning, and it has brought much-needed attention to the role of schools as social-service providers and connectors. It has also illuminated the ingenuity and resiliency of educators, students, and families. 

All this has created a strong sense of urgency around this school year, as schools seek to regroup and heal from a year and a half of pandemic-clouded conditions. For many educators, a big part of that urgency is a recognized need for deep-seated change—not just from the makeshift approaches of the past year but also from the ways schools have historically operated. 

The articles in this certificate course, selected from the September 2021 issue of Education Leadership® (EL®), take a broad and strategic look at what’s important in education now and what’s next, exploring how schools and educators can work differently, in light of all that’s transpired and all we’ve learned, to better serve students in this pivotal school year and beyond. 

Accordingly, the selected readings address a range of interrelated topics. Several of them focus on technology or systems change. They look at how schools’ recent experiences with remote learning and asynchronous learning, for example, might foster needed structural and curricular transformations—and, significantly, where they fell short. Other pieces shed new light on specific instructional approaches, such as differentiation, personalization, and inquiry-based instruction, that have gained heightened attention as learning-recovery solutions. Still others offer tips and reflections on strengthening social-emotional learning and relationship-building as schools reopen. 

For all their differences, however, the readings have many things in common. The most critical of these is an emphasis on the importance of attending closely to students’ needs—that is, of becoming less bound by convention and more boldly student-centered.

5 Additional Hours!

The certificate course allows you to earn 5 additional hours of professional development symposium registration.

Course Objectives

Through this certificate program, participants will be able to...

  • Incorporate new perspectives into their instructional mindset.
  • Identify effective restorative practices to re-engage staff, students, and families.
  • Implement strategies to close gaps and accelerate learning.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Welcome

    • Course Objectives

    • FAQs

    • Before We Begin

  • 2

    Assignment 1

    • Activity 1.1 - Read: "Opening Stronger- and More Open to Inquiry" by Myron Dueck

    • Activity 1.2 - Knowledge Check

  • 3

    Assignment 2

    • Activity 2.1 - Read: "Fostering Hope, Healing, & Wellbeing" by Phyllis Fagell

    • Activity 2.2 - Knowledge Check

    • Activity 2.3 - Reflection

  • 4

    Assignment 3

    • Activity 3.1 - Read: "Putting the Person Back in Personalized Learning" by Paul Emerich France

    • Activity 3.2 - Knowledge Check

    • Activity 3.3 - Reflection

  • 5

    Assignment 4

    • Activity 4.1 - Read: "Why Teacher Teams Are More Critical Than Ever" by Susan Moore Johnson

    • Activity 4.2 - Knowledge Check

  • 6

    Assignment 5

    • Activity 5.1 - Read: "Schooling in the Fifth Season" by Justin Reich

    • Activity 5.2 - Knowledge Check

    • Activity 5.3 - Reflection

  • 7

    Assignment 6

    • Activity 6.1 - Read: "'Techquity': Going from Digital Poverty to Digital Empowerment" by Ken Shelton

    • Activity 6.2 - Knowledge Check

  • 8

    Assignment 7

    • Activity 7.1 - Read: "Rediscovering Relationship-Based Learning?" by Christina Torres

    • Activity 7.2 - Knowledge Check

  • 9

    Assignment 8

    • Activity 8.1 - Read: "5 Changes, Shifts and Implications for What's Next in Education" by Tom Vander Ark

    • Activity 8.2 - Knowledge Check

  • 10

    Assignment 9

    • Activity 9.1 - Read: "What Differentiated Instruction Really Means" by Lisa Westman

    • Activity 9.2 - Knowledge Check

    • Activity 9.3- Reflection

  • 11

    Assignment 10

    • Activity 10.1 - Read: "Could the Pandemic Change Education for the Better" by Yong Zhao

    • Activity 10.2 - Reflection

  • 12

    Assignment 11

    • Activity 11.1 - Read: "Why Do Students Disengage" by Douglas Fisher & Nancy Frey

    • Activity 11.2 - View - Show & Tell: A Video Column

    • Activity 11.3 - Knowledge Check

  • 13

    Assignment 12

    • Activity 12.1 - Read: "Changing Your Instructional Mindset" by Jill Harrison Berg

    • Activity 12.2 - Reflection

  • 14


    • Before You Go

    • Final Reflection & Survey

Forgot to add the certificate course to your symposium registration?

Call the ASCD Service Center at 1-800-933-2723.


  • Can the course be accessed via phone or tablet?

    The course platform is completely responsive, so you may use any device of your choice.

  • How is learning assessed?

    This course utilizes a combination of Knowledge Check quizzes and written assignments.

  • How are assignments submitted?

    Assignments are uploaded directly onto the certificate platform.

  • Is there a final exam?

    No; there is no cumulative exam or summative assessment. Certificate requirements are met by completing each assignment, (reading/viewing and corresponding activity).

  • What is the deadline for completing the certificate course?

    All assignments should be completed by September 30, 2021, when the course will close.

Limited Availablity!

Course begins October 18, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST.

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