Laura Allen, Ph.D.
- Professor , Education
Laura Allen, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Education at Trinity University. She began in 1994 as Coordinator of the Middle Grades MAT Program, teaching courses on curriculum, instruction, adolescent development, and middle level education. She served on the NCATE Board of Examiners and the NCATE/CAEP Program Review Board. From 2014-2019, she worked as Director of Certification & Assessment, developing assessment systems using TK20 and coordinating PPAT and edTPA. She was appointed to the TEA Educator Preparation Advisory Committee and served as president of TCTCT, as well as on the CSOTTE Board. In Spring 2020, she is on academic leave to complete forest therapy training through ANFT and travel to Scotland to study policy and implementation of green space initiatives.
From 2005 - 2019, Allen developed and coordinated the Summer Curriculum Writing Institute to support MAT graduates. The week-long workshop was designed around the central task of curriculum development and invited graduates and their colleagues to return to the university each June to write a unit of study and reconnect with one another and MAT faculty. Units were written using Wiggins & McTighe's (2005; 2011) Understanding by Design framework and published online via a common creative license at http://digitalcommons.trinity.edu/understandingbydesign/. The site has garnered more downloads than any site in the Digital Commons, averaging as many as 45,000 per month. Curriculum developed during SCWI is currently being used by the US Department of Education, several state departments of education, and multiple school districts in the US and abroad. Research on SCWI shows significant increases in curriculum quality and teacher retention (Allen, 2013; Allen, 2014), two primary goals of the week-long institute.