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The Knowles Senior Fellows Program supports a national network of teachers who have the capacity and drive to be primary agents of educational improvement. The program provides support that leverages and amplifies the investment Knowles makes in its Teaching Fellows. The connectedness of Senior Fellows within the network allows them to build on, refine, and spread the professional norms, practices and knowledge gained through the Teaching Fellows Program to strengthen the teaching profession and improve math and science education from the ground up.


Senior Fellows are eligible to receive grants from Knowles for Seed Projects—initiatives that are designed to improve education beyond a Senior Fellow’s own classroom, including initiatives that enhance STEM teaching and learning in high schools, build a network of teachers engaged in exploring new ideas, and provide leadership for schools or districts. Senior Fellows are encouraged to include teachers and other colleagues from beyond the Knowles community in the planning and execution of Seed Projects.

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Discovery Projects

Discovery Project Grants support Senior Fellow initiatives that are designed to expand the impact of successful Seed Projects. Discovery Projects will typically be funded for two years at a time and will require that Senior Fellows involve teachers and/or other colleagues beyond the Knowles community in their efforts to improve education beyond their own classrooms. We will begin funding Senior Fellows’ Discovery Projects in the 2018–2019 academic year.

Resonance Projects

Resonance Projects grow the capacity of the Knowles network by directly enhancing Senior Fellows’ skills, knowledge and experience. They also allow Senior Fellows to feed their expertise back into the network, while providing the opportunity and support needed to leverage those skills, knowledge and experiences to have an impact beyond the Knowles network. Currently, Knowles invests approximately $70,000 annually in two Resonance Projects: the Knowles Coaching Institute and our Senior Fellow-led journal, Kaleidoscope: Educator Voices and Perspectives.

Resonance Projects

Coaching Institute

Introduced in 2014, the Knowles Coaching Institute is designed to increase the use of peer coaching among Fellows and in broader educational contexts, and enhance the climate of shared and reflective professional practice in the community. During its inaugural year, nine Senior Fellows were selected to participate in the institute. Participants attended two meetings where they were introduced to the fundamentals of peer coaching and asked to think about the role of coaches in adult learning. They also practiced leveraging coaching tools to help Knowles Teaching Fellows plan, present, and reflect on professional learning sessions at the annual Knowles Summer Meeting.

Kaleidoscope: Educator Voices and Perspectives

In December 2014, the Knowles Teacher Initiative published the inaugural issue of its new journal—Kaleidoscope: Educator Voices and Perspectives. Through Kaleidoscope, Knowles shares stories from teachers about teaching, leading and learning. At its founding, the Kaleidoscope editorial board comprised Knowles Senior Fellows who were responsible for seeking submissions, reviewing submissions, providing feedback to authors, and making all final editorial decisions. In June 2016, two Knowles Senior Fellows—Katie Blaske and Kirstin Milks—were selected to serve as the first Co-Editors-in-Chief of Kaleidoscope. The editorial staff was completed with the selection of four Senior Fellow Associate Editors—Brittany Franckowiak, Lindsey Quinlisk, Rebecca Van Tassell and Katie Waddle.

Donor Impact on Senior Fellows Program

Seed Projects

Knowles Teacher Initiative founder Janet H. Knowles generously gave $100,000 in 2016 to fund Seed Projects—initiatives that are designed to improve education beyond a Senior Fellow’s own classroom. Six Seed Project grants totaling $49,519 were awarded during the 2016–2017 school year.

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Knowles Academy Scholarship

In Fiscal Year 2017, Knowles Teacher Initiative staff donated $4,613 and agreed to use these funds to create a scholarship that will be used to support a Knowles Senior Fellow and a colleague to attend Knowles Academy courses, starting with the 2017 Engineering Design course.

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