PHutures – 100 Alumni Voices »

Beth Holland

“I left the classroom because I hit a point where I said I can make a difference with my kids and I can make a difference in this small setting, but I want to make a difference in a bigger setting.”

School of Education

Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education, EdD 2018

Research & Measurement Partner at The Learning Accelerator

Beth‘s Podcast Episode

In this episode, we discuss what prompted Beth to move from the education technology space to pursue her doctorate in entrepreneurial leadership in education, how her doctoral training prepared her for success in the non-profit sector, and the different ways she influences education systems and policy as a research and measurement partner at The Learning Accelerator.

Learn More About Beth‘s Story

In my master’s program, I took a course on the synthesis of theory, design, and practice. We spent the semester examining the intersection and synthesis between pedagogical theory, instructional design (including technology programs and platforms), and teacher practice as well as the disconnect that often occurs. Too often, researchers and designers are disconnected from the realities of the classroom. Meanwhile, teachers often want to understand the theory but find the research inaccessible.

Since completing that degree, I have spent my career focused on bridging those gaps. As an Academic Technology Director and a professional learning instructor, I focused on the disconnect between edtech design, sound pedagogical theory, and the realities of teacher practice. As a researcher, I now work to communicate and translate findings to practitioner audiences. In the photo, I was explaining this theory-design-practice synthesis to a group of professional learning workshop participants.

I have always loved being on the water, and my first classroom was a 50-foot sailboat. Throughout college and into my first few years as a classroom teacher, I spent my summers teaching sailing and leadership skills in an experiential learning program. That time working in a student-centered, hands-on, active-learning environment shaped my entire perspective on what great teaching and learning should look like.

I started standup paddle boarding as a way to get out on the water when sailing was not an option. It has become an athletic, social, and mental outlet, taught me how to balance (figuratively and literally), helped me to develop greater endurance, and given me a chance to see the world from a different perspective. In that photo, we were out watching seals on a January day.