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The INVEST Project

Through a partnership with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), The Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation has created resources for university faculty to use when preparing new teachers to employ the standards-based instructional practices.

These videos were created with the guidance of the IHE Advisory Board and funded as part of Tennessee’s Race to the Top program. The project goals were:

  • Guide the development of resources for institutes of higher education in the implementation of the Tennessee Academic Standards.
  • Represent the diverse interests of the teacher preparation community in integrating the Tennessee Academic Standards into training programs.
  • To facilitate communication between Arts and Sciences and College of Education faculty on standards-aligned instruction implementation with an ultimate outcome of ensuring the teacher pipeline is adequately prepared to teach to the new, more rigorous Tennessee Academic Standards.

The Ayers Institute has produced a library of lesson-length videos that can be used in teacher preparation classrooms and professional learning programs across the state. Some are full length Math and ELA lessons, identifying standards-aligned shifts. Others are shorter clips highlighting implementation of the Tennessee Academic Standards, including Professional Learning Communities and Teacher Evaluation. In addition, a suite of leadership videos highlights the importance of coaching, data use, and collaboration. Also included in the library are videos that center on teacher and school leader evaluation practices. The accompanying Facilitator's Guide provides additional resources and activities for faculty to use with their students and for professional learning coordinators to use with current-service teachers.

INVEST Conference Materials

INVEST Educator Preparation Conference – May 20, 2014

The Educator Preparation Conference was a valuable opportunity to collaborate with higher education colleagues from across Tennessee and seek ways to put higher standards into practice!  The day included updates from state officials and a morning panel discussion comprised of representatives of the Tennessee Department of Education and K-12 leaders from both the district and school levels.  Breakout sessions throughout the day focused on specific content areas.  An afternoon panel discussion was comprised of Tennessee K-12 practitioners who have been featured in INVEST videos.

Critical Conversations Conference – May 13-14, 2013

“Collaborate, communicate, cast a vision”

Based on the premise that professional learning cannot succeed in a vacuum, Critical Conversations brought together teams of school stakeholders (district and building-level administrators, teacher-leaders, and instructional coaches) to collaborate on a vision for collaborative professional learning within your school.  Presentations and activities focused on collaboration and conversations about vision and purpose, the communication structures necessary, and the various practices of collaborative professional learning.

INVEST Regional Training Sessions – Spring 2013

Five regional two-day training sessions were conducted in locations in East, Middle, and West Tennessee that drew more than 470 education and arts and sciences faculty from across the state.  Partnering with the National Math and Science Initiative, the Ayers Institute and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission offered sessions on math and literacy topics.  Participants collaborated on program change ideas and envisioned new opportunities – even down to the course level – to teach the Tennessee Academic Standards using the INVEST resources.

The Institutes for Higher Education Advisory Board is a representation of Tennessee's colleges and universities, guiding the INVEST project.

2015-2016 Advisory Board

Pam Browning, Lee University Hal Knight, ETSU
Sharen Cypress, Freed-Hardeman University Richard Potts, Christian Brothers University
Kim Finch, Cumberland University Alistair Windsor, University of Memphis

Prior Years

Holly Anthony, Tennessee Tech Dovie Kimmins, MTSU
Pam Browning, Lee University Kimberly King-Jupiter, TSU
Christine Conn, Chattanooga State Hal Knight, ETSU
Sharen Cypress, Freed-Hardeman University Kim Paulsen, Vanderbilt University
Kim Finch, Cumberland University Richard Potts, Christian Brothers University
Susan Groenke, University of Tennessee Alistair Windsor, University of Memphis
Carlette Hardin, APSU