We are a team of practitioners who believe education should help students understand how their world is organized and empower them to affect meaningful change
Our book, Learning That Transfers empowers teachers and curriculum designers alike to harness the critical concepts of traditional disciplines while building students’ capacity to navigate, interpret, and transfer their learning to solve novel and complex modern problems. Using a backwards design approach, our hands-on guide walks teachers step-by-step through the process of identifying curricular goals, establishing assessment targets, and planning curriculum and instruction that facilitates the transfer of learning to new and challenging situations.
Julie Stern is the best-selling author of Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Elementary and Secondary, Visible Learning for Social Studies, and Learning That Transfers. She is the thought leader behind the global workshop series Making Sense of Learning Transfer and is a certified trainer in Visible Learning Plus. Her passion is synthesizing the best of education research into practical tools that support educators in breaking free of the industrial model of schooling and moving toward teaching and learning that promotes sustainability, equity, and well-being. She is a James Madison Constitutional Fellow and taught social studies for many years in Washington, DC and her native Louisiana. Julie moves internationally every few years with her husband, a US diplomat, and her two young sons.
Krista Ferraro is a history teacher and department head at Thayer Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts. Her passions include civic education, social justice, and preparing students for effective global citizenship. Previously, she served as deputy director of public policy and curriculum innovation at Chavez Schools in Washington, DC, where she also taught history and public policy courses. Her published works include the bestselling Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Elementary and Secondary. Krista holds bachelor’s degrees in American studies and Spanish from Cornell University and a master of arts in teaching from American University. She is also an alumna of Teach for America.
Kayla Duncan is a personalized instruction coach for Forsyth County Schools in Cumming, Georgia. Her passion centers around empowering student voice through meaningful, authentic experiences and increased ownership. Kayla currently supports personalized learning schools in creating their new vision for education through the design thinking process. She believes the voices of students and the community should drive what happens in the school building. Before her coaching role, Kayla taught elementary physical education and middle grades mathematics. She holds a bachelor of science in kinesiology from the University of Georgia, a master of arts in mathematics education from Western Governors University, and an educational specialist in learning, design, and technology from the University of Georgia. Kayla is pursuing a doctor of education in school improvement from the University of West Georgia and hopes to use this new knowledge to propel schools toward innovative visions for education. Kayla resides in Georgia with her husband, a fellow educator, and their fourteen-year-old dog Georgie.
Trevor Aleo is a middle school English teacher in Wilton, Connecticut, where he designs meaningful learning experiences while reading and writing alongside his students. Prior to his current position, he taught high school and was a grade-level lead in Prince William County, Virginia. In addition to leading teams at his own school, he’s drafted curriculum at the district level, created instructional resources for the Virginia Department of Education, and presented at local, state, and national conferences. He believes education should help people become better sense makers and story tellers and is a passionate believer in pedagogies that align with those values. Growing up in a house of teachers, he developed a love of learning that continues to serve as the driving force behind all his work. He holds a bachelor of arts in English and a master of arts in teaching from James Madison University and is currently pursuing a doctorate in learning design and leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Trevor currently resides in Fairfield, Connecticut, with his amazing wife Lindsey and will be welcoming a son into the world in March.
Nichelle Pinkney currently serves as the K-12 Social Studies Program Coordinator for Klein Independent School district in Klein,TX. In her 15 year career in education she’s served as a high school history teacher, department chair, AVID Coordinator, online instructor and course creator and intermediate instructional specialist. She has helped review and edit many books in the field of social studies comprehension. She coaches and consults with other schools and teachers around Texas. She is currently in her fourth year of serving all the Social Studies teachers and students of Klein ISD. Her ultimate goal is to make learning visible in all classrooms at each level and that EVERY student has at least a years growth as a result of it.
Erin Leininger is the Middle School Curriculum Coordinator at International School Manila. She is a Doctor of Education Leadership and the co-author of the book Teaching Adolescent English Language Learners. She has taught diverse groups of adolescents in national and international contexts, including California, Rhode Island, Kuwait, China, and the Philippines. She is passionate about the science of teaching and learning and is dedicated to fostering collaborative, innovative, and reflective learning environments for both teachers and students. She also holds a certificate of International School Leadership from the Principals’ Training Center, a Master’s Degree in Education, and a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Spanish Literature.
Liza Fagan began teaching science in 2007. She currently works at Nansha College Preparatory Academy in Guangzhou, China as the Science Head of Department and teacher of both Chemistry 1 and AP Chemistry. A native of Massachusetts, Liza graduated from Scripps College in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry and earned a Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching from American University in 2009. She joined Teach for America after college and was placed in Washington, DC, where she taught various levels of chemistry for eleven years. She believes in the transformative power of education and views the classroom as a space for students to develop confidence, a passion for learning, and the ability to collaborate and communicate to build deep understandings of complex concepts. She pushes her students to constantly ask “How do we know that?” and “Why?”. She was a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2015 and is an active member of both NSTA and AACT.
Juliet Mohnkern is the Founding Director of High Tech High Middle Mesa in San Diego, CA. Originally from Connecticut, Juliet has taught and led in schools in Boston and Washington, DC. She moved to San Diego to attend High Tech High’s Graduate School of Education where she earned her MA in School Leadership. During her graduate work at High Tech, Juliet was the school leadership resident and interim director at High Tech Middle Chula Vista.
Juliet loves learning and explored her passions through undergraduate work in Classics at Boston College and graduate work in Ethics, Peace Studies, and Global Affairs at American University. Juliet finds joy in working with young people – especially middle schoolers! – to uncover their potential, explore ideas, and create meaningful work.