Partners in Learning


  EDT 422 Senior Capstone Class

Research Associates, Miami University, Fall 2016


The Associates in the Fall 2016 Capstone class are researching many topics for this site.  Associates collaborate in teams, research their topics, organize their content for placement on this site and make final presentations to colleagues to demonstrate their contribution and organization of the content that they have researched.  They read Jack Welch's popular book "Winning" and participate in a one session introduction to GrantSuccess, Dr. Brooks' popular and successful grant writing system.  

New on

"Where The Finger Points"

by Sean M. Brooks

"Where the Finger Points" by Sean M. Brooks is available on   This insightful and telling 115 page paperback is one award winning teacher's story of violence in school.  The author describes, through the lens of a horrific career experience, who is responsibile for school violence and what can be done to stop it.  The author brings nine years of public school teaching experience as a middle school and high school health education teacher to his unique and telling perspective.  The author vividly describes why students get angry in schools, who causes the anger and how they act out.  He invites school teachers and administrators to examine long standing rituals and routines as sources of student anger and frustration.   Mr. Brooks details successful intervention programs that introduce "student voice" into this important dialogue.   The author goes beyond addressing bullying, harassment and embedded violence with outside speakers and one-day programs to examining the embedded structures, systems and habits of schools and classrooms that  negaitvely impact the safety of students and schools.  His insightful book is loaded with suggestions and initiatives that any classroom teacher or school administrator could implement into their own classroom to create community and instill compassion.  Mr. Brooks is currently working on his Ph.D.

School Violence and Conflict Resolution

For More information on school violence please follow the above link.



Partners in Learning and EHS Host "Great Oaks TeachLive Conference"


On August 3rd and 4th Partners In Learning, the School of Education Health and Society and Great Oaks Career Center partnered to offer "First Day of School and Session Opening" training using Miami's TeachLive interactive training system. 


Twelve 1st, 2nd and 3rd year industry professionals interacted with 5 computer supported and facilitator managed online characters who are organized in a simulated classroom setting.  Each character has a separate personality and the degree of confusion they can cause ranges from none to very serious.  Conference participants included Ray Roginski (HVAC), Danyell Terry (Surgical Technology), Kim Newberry (Health Technology), Jen Frith (Law Enforcement) Kevin Fox (Precision Machining), Caitlin Berger (Health Technology), Anna Powell (Science), Karen Schaewe (Health Technology), Angela Todd (Cosmetology), Danielle Davis (Cosmetology) and John Cohmer (Computer Service Technician and Networking).  


The two day conference was designed by Dr. Doug Brooks, Karla Berger, Great Oaks Vice President for Human Resources and Julie Woodward, Professional Development Coordinator.  Dr. Brooks introduced the Great Oaks faculty to the language and models of teacher effectiveness and specific activity sequences for the first day of school, opening class sessions and managing student disruptions. The participants then practiced these skills while interacting with five computer based student characters that were managed by a facilitator in Florida.  This Gates Foundation supported technology allows for real time practice of specific classroom actions with synchronized real time responses from the characters.  Participants observed each other while Dr. Brooks offered comments and suggestions to the group and the next participant.  Faculty members were then invited to try the first day and session opening activities a second time over the course of the two days.  The group enjoyed lunches at LaRosa's and BW3's. 







Partners In Learning teams with Arts and College Preparatory Academy (ACPA)

Ohio's #1 Academically Performing Charter HIgh School

The Arts and College Preparatory Academy (ACPA) offers a dynamic and student centered curriculum that is grouded in an environment that is safe, inclusive, and progressive.  ACPA is the recent recipient of a 2015 Ohio Straight A grant and a 2015 federal Department of Educaiton grant.  The administrative team and teacher leaders have created a very special culture of acceptance that guides every decision.  ACPA recently completed a five year strategic planning cycle and conviened to plan for the next five years.  ACPA is an extraordinary, mission driven Ohio charter high school that lives their mission and vision every day.  Dr. Douglas Brooks served as a consultant to the group and moderated a day long session that signaled the start of the next five year plan.


4401 Hilton Corporate Dr, Columbus, OH 43232

(614) 986-9974

2016 Ohio eTech Conference in Columbus Ohio

Dr. Douglas Brooks presented his innovative and successful  GRANTSUCCESS grant application system in a 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM Tuesday workshop.  Over 100 participants were introduced to Dr. Brooks' successful system for RFP analysis, pre-writing document development, technical writing tips and examples of successfully funded grants.  The content of the workshop is posted in the 2016 Ohio eTech Conference listing in the menu to the right, near the top.  

"Partners In Learning" in the College of Education, Health and Society

Partners In Learning is a partnership group directed by Dr. Douglas Brooks, a Full Professor in the College of Education Health and Society at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The mission of Partners In Learning is to provide web-based professional development to student teachers, school district administrators and faculty members and supervisors. One feature of Partners In Learning is the Performance Pyramid. The Performance Pyramid is a web-based model for continuous improvement that features "Resource Domains" directly related to improved student achievement gains on state mandated proficiency tests.  Seniors in Dr. Brooks' EDT 422 Capstone class are "Research Associates." They organize into collaborative Content Action Teams. These teams research topics of current importance and personal interest. They use Quality Management techniques. The content on the Performance Pyramid is re-evaluated every semester.  Students learn to use an open source software product called DRUPAL as they make continuous improvements to the site. The "Associates" in the above picture were in the Summer 2014 Capstone class. Most of them will graduate in August 2014 and begin their teaching careers in August 2014.

 When Did "Partners In Learning" Begin?

In 1989, the Miami University School of Education and Allied Professions (old name)  joined the National Network for Educational Reform (NNER) with its own Institute for Educational Renewal (IER).  As a new member of John Goodlad's IER project, Miami established agreements with area schools to support the development of "Professional Development Schools."  These schools were envisioned as "cultures of innovation" that would continously improve as Miami University liscensure programs improved. These professional development schools hosted Miami student teachers and school mentors/supervisors  were trained to support IER goals.

At the same time, my two sons were enrolled in the Talawanda City Schools.  Talawanda was shamelessly not included in the project. Talawanda had a long and difficult history of failed bond levies and was in need of resources.   So, I started working with the Talawanda City Schools and formed Partners In Learning.

The first project involved Miami University IT Services hosting a "GTE Online" product that gave the school district its first onramp to the Internet and an early stage e-mail system.  This project was called the Talawanda Learning Community Network (TLCNet).  PIL worked with Warner Cable to extend cable access to all the district's schools.  School building level grant writing teams were developed to create grant writing capacity.  PIL worked with Talawanda administrators and teachers to successfully apply for external grant funding. These grants included: the Ohio Classroom of The Future ($120,000 ),  Reading Recovery ($60,000), Venture Capital ($240,000 in Marshall Elementary School and TMS for 2 years), the SchoolNet Prototype ($350,000), Ohio Schools on the Move ($35,000), SchoolNet Plus ($80,000), Raising the Bar ($120,000) and High Schools That Work ($70,000).  While the IER came and went (five years) with no lasting impact, PIL and related grants put over $1.2 million in technology integration funding into the Talawanda district.   The IER results have long since evaportated.  Talawanda City Schools still use the internet in every classroom, First Class Client as a communication tool and were selected as one of 10 schools in Ohio to be researched in the Ohio Department of Education "Transforming Learning Communities" monograph.  Dr. Brooks and teachers from Talawanda authored one of the ten monographs entitled  "Teachers, Leaders, Trust and Technology" for a larger report organized by Dennis Thiessen and Stephen Anderson from the University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (1999).

Selected Individual Grants Supported by Partners In Learning

Ohio Classroom of the Future- This funding supported the development of a six audiotape cassette series on school reform in the 21st Century. It featured Talawanda teachers and influenced the design of Talawanda Middle School.

Reading Recovery- This funding supported the training of early grade teachers in the application of Dr. Marie Clay's methods for helping high risk non-readers.

Venture Capital- Talawanda Middle School and Marshall Elementary School each recieved two years of $120,000 funding to establish local area networks and link to the Internet through a Miami University server.

Ohio SchoolNet Prototype- Talawanda/ Tri-Village and Miami University led one of twelve state-wide prototypes to install Internet access in every district classroom in two districts.  The project included the introduction of Apple computers, Mcrosoft Word, Internet Explorer and PowerPoint to over 380 teachers in two districts and 8 school buildings.

Raising the Bar- This funding supported Talawanda Middle School technology integration beyond SchoolNet.

SchoolNet Plus- PIL helped author the legislation that placed 4 computer workstations in all Ohio schools grades K-4.

Schools On The Move- This funding supported teacher design of lessons that integrated technology and encouaged students to become more comfortable with emerging technologies.

Project Mentor-  This federal grant for $350,000 was designed to increase student teacher internet access to university methods block facutly members and national instructional methods resources.  

High Schools That Work- This funding built on the infrastructure of SchoolNet to support a cutlure of collaboration, curriculum redesign and 21st century skills for better preparation of students for college and the workplace.

Ohio EETT Grants (2005) 26 Columbus City Middle and Elementary Schools worked with Partners In Learning to successfully apply for over $2.6 million in technology integration funding.  The GrantSuccess system that was first developed in Venture Capital funding opportunities was upscaled to service all 26 writing teams.  

Indiana ARRA Grants (2009)  Four school districts in Indiana successfully applied for ARRA federal technology integration funding.

LaSalle High School (2011) Successful strategic planning and grant appllcation for $80,000 to establish a wireless and digital textbook culture.

edTPA Writing Guide is Available

1. in "Dropbox"

2. at the "Bottom" of this page (scroll down) and

3. in  "edTPA Information" in the menu at the left

Drs, Douglas Brooks, Cheryl Irish and Jean Eagle have collaborated and approved a unique "edTPA Writing Guide" that is designed to help with the edTPA process.  You can download the document from the bottom of this page or click on "edTPA Information" in the menu and see the text and other resources on this site.

edTPA is a performance-based assessment that measures novice teachers’ readiness to teach.  It was developed by teachers and teacher educators through a process coordinated by SCALE and AACTE.  It is designed with a focus on student learning and principles from research and theory.  It engages candidates in demonstrating their understanding of teaching and student learning in authentic ways.

in the menu item to the left is a tab "edTPA Information.  This tab is at the bottom of the menu.   This sections includes suggestiions and observations from former and current student teachers about the edTPA process.   


edTPAWritingGuide.doc228.5 KB