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Donna Walker Tileston, Ed.D.


>Dr. Donna Walker Tileston, for your event<

Donna Walker Tileston, Ed.D.

Dr. Donna Walker Tileston has served education as a leader in teaching, administration, research, writing, software development, and national consulting for the past thirty years. Her administrative responsibilities have included curriculum development, management, technology, finance, grants management, public relations, and drug abuse prevention programs. For the past fifteen years Dr. Tileston has been actively involved in brain research and the factors that inhibit learning or increase the brain’s ability to put information into long-term memory.

Dr. Tileston’s research has been published through Corwin Press under the titles: Strategies for Teaching Differently (1998) and Ten Best Teaching Practices: How Brain Research, Learning Styles and Standards Define Teaching Competencies (2000, 2005) which has been on Corwin’s Best Seller List since its first year of print. This research, along with comprehensive research on teaching and learning, brain research, and research on the urban learner, led Dr. Tileston to write a bestselling series titled What Every Teacher Should Know (2003, 2008). The series has been awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Educational Publishing by the American Educational Publishers Association.

Workshop Descriptions


Introduction to Why Culture Counts

Based on the book by the same name, this training outlines why we must look at the effects of poverty on learning through the lens of culture first. Efforts to close the gap in achievement have largely failed because we have treated students from poverty as kids who need to be “fixed” rather than looking at them for their differences in regard to how they view education, motivation, communication and learning.  This training introduces a new model for differentiation based on both culture and poverty and  provides practical applications for the classroom.

Presentation type: Half day, interactive workshop

Theme: Technology driven change and its impact on our institutions

Audience: Differentiation

Duration: Three hours


Why Culture Counts

The full day facilitation includes all of the elements described above, but goes further. It then takes a pragmatic look at how we must redefine what we teach and how we teach through a cultural lens.  Participants will learn a new model for defining student needs and then using best practices to address content, process, product, context and assessment. How do we provide the scaffolding necessary to help students with gaps in learning to learn at a high level?  What can we do to help high school students see the importance of higher learning?  What can we do at the K-1 level to identify gaps in vocabulary and then what can we do to help these students achieve at or above grade level?  What are the tools that are critical to help all children to be successful from the beginning? Participants will come away from the presentation with a clear understanding of how to meet both their curricular goals, as well as prepare students to meet the new realities of the 21st Century. Included is an overview of the 4 step model and practical applications for the classroom.

Presentation type: Full day, interactive workshop

Theme: Technology driven change and its impact on our institutions

Audience: Differentiation

Duration: Five hours

21st Century Learners: What’s the Difference?

We all know the future will be greatly impacted by the development of new digital tools. But have we considered what the digital world is doing to the students that enter our classrooms?

This workshop begins by exploring the effect digital bombardment has on digital kids in the new digital landscape, and considers the profound implications this holds for the future of education. What does the latest neuroscientific and psychological research tell us about the role of intense and frequent experiences on the brain, particularly the young and impressionable brain? Based on the research, what inferences can we make about kids’ digital experiences and how these experiences are wiring and shaping their cognitive processes? More importantly, what are the implications for teaching, learning and assessment in the new digital landscape?

But there’s more to consider if we are going to get a complete picture of what instruction will look like in the future. How can we reconcile these new findings with current instructional practices, particularly in a climate of standards and accountability driven by high stakes testing for all? What strategies can we use to appeal to the learning preferences and communication needs of digital learners while at the same time honoring our traditional practices and assumptions related to teaching, learning and assessment?

The implications of how digital kids process, interact, and communicate in current learning environments and effective instructional strategies are examined against current findings from the social, psychological, and neurosciences as to how effective teaching and learning occurs.

The presentation then provides a comprehensive profile of 10 core learning attributes of digital learners and 10 core teaching and learning strategies that can be used to appeal to their digital lifestyle and learning preferences.

The presentation then looks at the modern workplace and examines the new entry skills students will need to be successful in the digitally infused working environment. How has the world of work changed? How is it likely to change in the future? What are the new thinking skills workers will require? And how must we shift instruction to ensure we are equipping our students with these skills?

A new model of instruction to address these issues is then introduced. Learn how schools can use a research-based constructivist approach to encourage students to search for understandings – and still have student excel at the test.

This presentation focuses on a fundamental shift in the basic paradigm of teaching that is required to prepare students for the Communication and Information Age. It provides a pragmatic look at current teacher practices and explains why they are becoming increasingly out of synch with our rapidly changing world. It then asks how we can teach effectively in an age when new technologies cascade onto the new digital landscape at an astonishing rate and identifies the principles and processes that transcend these new technologies.

Participants will come away from the presentation with a clear understanding of various research-based strategies that can be used to optimize learning by the digital generation in the new digital landscape, how to address learning standards and improve test scores, while at the same time, meeting both curricular goals and preparing students with the skills, knowledge and understandings above and beyond content recall necessary to meet the new realities of the 21st Century.

Presentation type: Half day, full day interactive workshop

Theme: What current research tells us about learning

Audience: Leadership and Vision

Duration: Three to five hours

Keynotes and Spotlights

Response to Intervention: Getting It Right

The growing numbers of students who are identified as Learning Disabled and the numbers of students from poverty and from minorities is increasing in disproportionate numbers.  RTI provides a new opportunity to finally get it right in terms of which students really need intervention as apposed to instructional casualties.   Learn how to identify students using what we know about the differences in cultures in terms of how they learn.

Presentation type: Keynote, breakout, interactive workshop

Theme: Teaching, Learning, Assessment, Future of Schools

Audience: General

Duration: One to three hours


Differentiation for Culture and Poverty

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the challenge of creating a classroom for all students and one in which every child is successful?  Have you tried the “one size fits all” approach to differentiation?  Get ready to have your assumptions changed about what we really have to do to close the gap in achievement and the implications for not only schools but communities, states and our nation.

Presentation type: Keynote, breakout, workshop

Theme: Future Visioning, Change in the Workplace

Audience: General

Duration: One to three hours

Handout: Change is Hard, You Go First


Technology as a Tool for Learning

Schools have spent hundreds of millions on technology in the past 20 years and yet it seems to have done little in terms of student achievement.  Yet, powerful technologies and information systems have precipitated a parallel change in the knowledge base. Facts become obsolete faster and knowledge built on these facts become less durable. InfoWhelm is causing societies to reorganize their knowledge and breaking down the boundaries between conventional disciplines; and is fundamentally altering the very fabric of our society – affecting the way we work, play, communicate, how we learn, and what’s important for us to know. Yet schools in their structure, operation, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment models remain largely the same as they have for decades.

This presentation outlines exactly what the role of technology should be in the classroom and how to get there without purchasing new computers.

Learn how Informational, Technological and Media Fluency can be taught in the same structured manner that Mathematics, the Sciences, Social Studies/History and Languages are taught – embedded at every grade level, in every subject area, the responsibility of every teacher throughout the entire school experience.

Participants will be introduced to a number of tools, techniques and strategies that promote Informational, Technological and Media Fluency, including the 5As. – being able to ASK good questions; ACCESSING data from a wide range of high tech and low tech sources; ANALYZING and AUTHENTICATING  data in order to turn it into knowledge; APPLYING that knowledge within the context of real time, real life tasks or simulations of those task; and finally being  able to ASSESS both the process and the product.

Participants should come prepared to have their assumptions about education challenged.

Presentation type: Keynote, breakout, and workshop

Theme: Teaching, Learning, Assessment, Future of Schools

Audience: General

Duration: One to three hours


New Teachers for the 21st Century

Based on the award winning series by this presenter, What Every Teacher Should Know, participants will learn the most current and cutting edge research and its applications for the classroom.  The Ten areas of study include pre and post assessment and applications for the classroom that include a checklist of what that practice will look like and sound like in the classroom.  Also included are self-evaluation forms for teachers as they implement the best practices in their own classrooms.  All instructional practices are based on best practices identified by research.

Training includes:

-Three days of face to face training

-Follow-up tutorials online

-The Ten Book set of What Every Teacher Should Know

-Handouts and masters online to download and use in the classroom

-Follow up and in house evaluations by the consultant (optional)

Pre and post testing on the instructional practices in regard to the expertise of the teacher (teacher’s receive a confidential personal report) and principals receive a cumulative report.

The areas covered include:

-Working with diverse learners

-Effective planning

-Authentic assessment

-Motivation and learning

-Special learners

-Working with learning communities

-Parent conferences

-Technology and learning

-Learning, memory and the brain

-Instructional practices that make a difference in learning

-Behavior and classroom management

On request, we will provide a crosswalk to your state standards for the teaching profession

Presentation type: Workshops and online follow-up

Theme: Teaching, Learning, Assessment, New Teachers

Audience: New Teachers

Duration: three days initially with follow up to be determined by the schools

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