Scaffold Education Consulting delivers research based consulting services to formal and informal education institutions seeking to design, manage, and evaluate educational programs.
Scaffold Education has supported large-scale research and design programs funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at universities such as Harvard, Northwestern, Cal-Tech, and Berkeley, as well as small-scale education and puplic outreach programs at publishing companies, community service agencies, and other education organizations.
Services and Philosophy
Scaffold Education develops award-winning instruction, assessment, and professional development materials for use in formal and informal learning environments. In addition, collaborations with Scaffold Education create the opportunity for organizations to build their capacity to deliver quality education experiences for learners of all ages.
"Scaffolding" is an instructional strategy that enables students to reach goals and develop understandings that they would not be able to manage on their own. Scaffolded learning environments are designed to provide temporary support structures at key points in the learning process. Over time, those supports are withdrawn and responsibility for learning gradually shifts to the learner.
Scaffold Education applies this approach to transform the consulting process into a capacity building experience for clients. Services provided help clients to:
- Plan effective organizational strategy and develop winning grant proposals
- Design research-based learning that integrates curriculum, technology, and assessment
- Manage interdisciplinary teams of educators, subject matter experts, and technologists
- Evaluate program output and outcomes in order to inform management and design decisions
- Inspire learners of all ages to engage with new ideas and construct new knowledge
Who is Scaffold Education Consulting?
Scaffold Education's founder, Adam Tarnoff (view profile), specializes in the application of cutting edge research on learning and assessment to the design of formal and informal learning environments. His primary expertise is in building and managing interdisciplinary design teams, and his research interests center on the integration of curriculum, instruction, technology, and assessment in formal and informal learning environments. When not consulting, Adam is the President of Amandla Charter School in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood.
Prior to consulting full-time, Adam served as the Director of Education at the Adler Planetarium where he directed strategic planning, program management, and partnerships for a department that included: public programs and informal learning opportunities for museum visitors; in-school and out-of-school programs for teachers and students; education and outreach programs for current NASA missions; and internal program evaluation and educational research.
Previously, Adam served as Assistant Director - Curriculum & Assessment at Loyola University Chicago's Center for Science and Math Education where he worked extensively with the Chicago Public Schools on programs such as the Gates-funded High School Transformation Initiative. Adam came to Loyola from the NASA Center for Educational Technologies where he served as a Design Researcher and as the Principal Investigator for the NASA Science Mission Directorate's Mid-Atlantic Region Space Science Broker/Facilitator (MARSSB) program. Responsibilities associated with those roles included functioning as an internal consultant on the design of NASA space science education and outreach programs, brokering strategic alliances between researchers in NASA's education enterprise and members of the formal and informal education communities, and (the most fun!) managing the design of on-line game scenarios in which students take on the role of NASA explorers and collaborate in real-time to solve problems using authentic NASA data.
With an emphasis on urban and underserved environments, Adam has been involved with the design, development, and evaluation of award winning formal and informal science education programs since 1996. In that time he has held other design and research positions at the Pacific Science Center, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the NSF-funded Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schools at Northwestern University, and the Center for the Study of Learning, Instruction & Teacher Development at the University of Illinois, Chicago.