Who We Are
We recognize that academic failure is not the fault of inherent deficits of character or intellect but of economic disparity; institutional marginalization; unequal distribution of educational resources; ineffectual pedagogical practices, expectations, and the mindset therein engendered.
Alexandria Academy Institute Mission
To design, develop and deliver innovative adaptive standards-based STEM curricula to historically marginalized and
patronized students from diverse communities in order that they might develop the skills and mindset required
to live prosperous and purposeful lives.
How We Advance Our Mission
Educational outcomes for minority children are much more a function of their unequal access to key educational resources, including skilled teachers and quality curriculum, than they are a function of race. Paradoxically, schools that have most aggressively tried to close achievement gaps between students of color and white students often reinforce ineffectual educational structures and teaching methods that hold students back from developing the breadth of skills they need for 21st-century life: teacher-led, compliance-based, and hyper-focused only on basic academic skills.
The Alexandria Project addresses the deep inequality in educational opportunity and inadequate skills development experienced by marginalized and low-income students while simultaneously broadening what students learn in preparation for the global economy of the future.
We intend to leapfrog marginalized students beyond basic level instruction. Leapfrogging inequality requires alleviating the “opportunities gap” by transforming teaching and learning (and what we recognize as learning) – going well beyond worksheets (paper and digitized) and tests. Alexandria Academy Institute focuses on the following leapfrogging initiatives:
§ Knowing the Audience. Developing and applying scientific research-based curricula that addresses not only Common Core State Standards alignment but also race and gender-based academic disparities. Focusing on furthering math and science identity in African American students and other underrepresented groups and developing Culturally Responsive Curricula.
§ Cooperative, Peer-to-Peer Learning. Ample research finds that incorporating student’s interests and agency into learning can improve their knowledge and social and emotional skills. Teachers, therefore, are no longer the “Sage on the Stage,” but “Facilitators of Learning.” Peer-to-Peer learning makes use of pedagogical practices that encourage students to claim agency over the learning process, fosters their natural
inquisitiveness, and develops skills required to succeed in the workforce of the future.
§ Technology for More Effective Learning. We use advancements in digital technology to extend the reach, efficiency, and creativity of learning opportunities for marginalized students, their parents, and the communities in which they live. We use technology to collect student performance data, analyze the data for errors in prior knowledge and lags in concept comprehension. Our Data Analysts and Curriculum Coaches then suggest personalized remediation exercises appropriate for the students’ specific learning preference to teachers in real time.
§ Teacher support, collaboration, and professional development. Research shows that the most effective way to improve learning is by supporting teachers to broaden their skills and knowledge. Interventions related to teachers (rather than class size, or homework, or “learning styles”) are by far the most effective. Teacher support (side-by-side coaching) and professional development opportunities are central to The Alexandria Project.
§ Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Psycho-social Interventions. The cornerstone interventions of The Alexandria Project’s program include: Growth Mindset and Brain Plasticity training, Culturally Responsive curriculum, expansive Community Partnerships, Parent inclusion, and Counseling.
§ Science-Based Research and Curriculum Development & Delivery. Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Learning & Memory research, Pedagogical & Adolescent Psychological Theories, Motivation etc., informs all aspects of our program.