Customized learning-based solutions to meet your organization’s needs
I am honored to spend extended periods of time with instructional leaders who want to strategically create a thriving, teaching-learning culture that fulfills its mission.
Every organization has different instructional needs. Drawing from my background and experience in teaching and learning, curriculum and instruction, social-emotional learning, neurocognitive research, professional development, and instructional leadership and coaching, I lead conversations that identify, strategize, and develop sustainable solutions for each organization to meet its instructional potential.
Kevin D. Washburn, Ed.D.
Clerestory Learning Executive Director
Frequently Asked Questions
What are a few needs Clerestory has addressed through long-term consulting projects?
“We need to increase critical thinking in our classrooms.”
COLLABORATIVE PROJECT • Together with key instructional leaders, we identified essential skills, mapped their development through every level (K-12), established pattern statements, tools, and objectives to create a school-wide, grade-level specific guide. THE RESULT • Development of a customized K-12 critical thinking program. TIME FRAME • 1-2 years
Dr. Kevin Washburn and Clerestory Learning have been instrumental in developing the next level of education at North Cobb Christian School. Together we are educating faculty to teach students to be independent learners while fostering thinking and learning skills. Dr. Washburn is a talented and gifted communicator making a difference in the lives of all those he works with. It is a pleasure to work together to improve professional development and curriculum in our school.
“We need our curriculum documentation to be more concise, clear, and useful.”
COLLABORATIVE PROJECT • Together with key instructional leaders, we assessed curriculum across all levels, identified gaps, and redefined mastery for consistent expectations grade to grade. THE RESULT • Development of a strategic, reliable plan to increase efficient, effective instructional choices schoolwide. TIME FRAME • 1-2 years
[Kevin], I really love the creation you are fostering. Please know that you are a spark. If you have ever watched Survivor or any survival program, they always lead with the importance of fire. They go on and on about the things needed for a fire and it all comes down to being able to create a spark. Thank you for working to ignite our department.
“We need to improve reading and language arts achievement in K-8.”
COLLABORATIVE PROJECT • Developed a three-year plan to focus on successful habits of skill instruction, to conduct customized training, regularly observe and provide feedback, and identify an instructional leadership team for mentorship. THE IMPLEMENTATION • Instructional habits, including using visual tools and skill patterns, are becoming life skills for students. TIME FRAME • 3 years
Dr. Washburn is an excellent teacher and motivator! We have been working with him to provide coherence and vertical alignment in our K-8 reading program, and we could not have made a better choice. Dr. Washburn’s ability to present information, to adjust delivery for different levels of understanding, and to create application of content and skills is extremely effective. Our staff loves to work with him and always looks forward to sessions with him because of how much they get out of his teaching, knowing that they can apply strategies and techniques the next day in their classes.
Our school needs… Can you help?
Our virtual and hybrid instruction is ok, but it needs to be more effective. Can you help?
Our school needs to help our parents understand how to help their kids learn better. Can you help?
Our science (art, math, counseling, etc.) curriculum is not as effective as we think it could be. Can you help?
We are about to introduce a new program and we need professional development. Can you help?
YES, we can help. Every school has a mission, so we start there and let it guide our conversation. Every school must define itself instructionally so that choices about meeting all instructional needs align with its mission. We work through the process together and help develop tools that equip you to successfully fulfill the school’s mission.
What does Clerestory Learning offer organizations that are not schools?
Understanding how we learn influences the things that matter in life. Things like: the way we convey a new idea, how we ask for help, how we work together, how we make decisions, and how we thrive in challenging times.
For example, consider this conversation I had with Todd McMichen of the Generosity Podcast. How are teaching and learning related to generosity? While the intended audience is pastors, you’ll make the connection: generosity applies to everyone.
We can all relate to key questions discussed in this conversation:
- How can we become more informed communicators?
- How does knowing a learning process foster better communication?
- What is our thinking process when we are asked for something or when we give something?
- How can a leader help someone overcome mental and emotional obstacles to being generous?
- What are steps we can take to make a lesson on something as important as generosity stick?
Learning is not just the school’s domain. Learning affects businesses, communities, churches, nonprofit organizations—any place where communication and understanding is key. We help you become aware of the learning-teaching connection to important life matters. We equip you with instructionally sound tools that help you serve others with greater understanding.
Clerestory Learning creates an awareness of the learning-teaching connection to important life matters.
“In this episode of the Generosity Podcast, Todd McMichen is joined by Dr. Kevin Washburn, founder of Clerestory Learning. During their conversation they discuss powerful principles in unlocking personal generosity.”
Courses that clarify the learning-teaching connection
Architecture of Learning
INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN PROGRAM
How can teachers engage students in ways that capitalize on their ability to gather information, use it to fuel inquiry, and produce growth and solutions for today’s world?
It all depends on learning. When we understand how learning occurs, we can develop instruction that equips students to learn well (know what), respond wisely (know how), and contribute meaningfully (think critically and creatively).
This kind of instruction requires a tested, rubber-meets-the-road strategy; something that is solidly researched, accessible for any educator, and proven reliable. We call it the Architecture of Learning.
I have gained valuable planning and thinking skills in this course.
As I develop my Architecture of Learning Blueprint strands for several Latin grammar concepts, I’m looking at ways to tie to the pattern so that we can keep referring to it in “real life” as well as keep it fresh for Latin connections. I’m also developing a Blueprint for my Anatomy & Physiology class.
The course was so very helpful. I was encouraged and stretched by the comments of other participants, and I have shared what I learned with several colleagues.
This was exactly what I needed to begin the new school year.
I feel re-energized and hopeful, like it’s my first year all over again.
It’s Official! Foundations & Frameworks is now a Clerestory Learning program. Program revisions underway! Watch this brief video for details.
Foundations & Frameworks
INSTRUCTIONAL READING PROGRAM
You know your students are capable of deeper book discussions, but helping them discover greater meaning on their own is often unsuccessful. Why?
Understanding reading comprehension—the thinking it requires and knowing how to develop that processing—is the key and requires focused, strategic instruction.
Research tells us to start with foundational knowledge of several areas—reading comprehension, visual tools, collaborative comprehension, vocabulary, and assessment—and then establish solid frameworks and strategies for deep thinking and comprehension. We call it Foundations & Frameworks.
I love how what I learned makes so much sense.
I think about what could be done in my classroom to make teaching and learning so much better. I get so excited when I attend a Clerestory course.
Fantastic leadership by Kevin—his wealth of knowledge is contagious!
GOOD NEWS! The Foundations & Frameworks Basic Course is now available ONLINE.
Spring course enrollment opens mid-November 2020.
INSTRUCTIONAL WRITING PROGRAM
You know you’re supposed to teach writing, but the textbook is basically a mechanics manual. You cover it all well, but when you ask students to write a draft, their submissions are lacking. What is happening?
Pieces are missing between grammar basics and well-crafted communication. When mechanics, revision, and genre are interconnected, students understand grammar in context. When students experience well-crafted writing examples, are directed through a pre-writing process with idea organizers, are held accountable by rubrics, and coached by teachers who understand their role as editors, skilled writers emerge.
“It puts the focus on communicating clearly and well,” said a course participant. That’s the hallmark of Writer’s Stylus.
My approach to grammar has changed over the course of this training.
While we talked about grammar and mechanics, it didn’t feel like a weight or a burden like it often does within writing.
The modeling and the coaching methods fit extremely well with our organization’s values and purpose of discipling and mentoring.