Teaching Systems Lab

Preparing today's pre-service teachers for tomorrow's classroom

About This Project

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The Teaching Systems Lab investigates the systems needed to prepare teachers for the complex, technology-mediated classrooms of the future.

The Scheller Teacher Education Program is collaborating with The Teaching Systems Lab, a new research initiative at MIT. Situated within MIT’s Office of Digital Learning, TSL works to prepare teachers for the challenges of today’s classrooms by providing them with the opportunities and experiences to change those classrooms into the learning environments of tomorrow.



Scheller staff are currently engaged in bringing our expertise to bear on TSL initiative in three areas – Games, Video Case Studies and Teaching and Learning.

Scheller staff are developing games that can be used as part of pre-service teacher preparation including:


Committee of N is a card game designed to help teachers in training investigate and discuss the history of schooling in America. In the game, players use collaboration, planning, and communication skills to explore topics including learning theories, purposes, and design features.


Knowledge Management is a role-playing game to help pre-service teachers understand and manage student knowledge acquisition within specific content domains. The game aims to help teachers identify, unpack, and address common student misconceptions in math and science disciplines.

Interactive Video Case Studies: A Collaborative, Online Approach to Teacher Training

Scheller staff are working with TSL to harness the power of a unique, crowdsourced video annotation system to create a variety of topically-focused video cases and associated ‘challenges’ linked to specific learning objectives. The video case studies provide examples of effective teaching practices ‘in action’ and enable student-teachers to experience, evaluate, and discuss both diversity and similarity in teaching techniques and pedagogies. This style of interaction allows for the creation of interactive, collaborative problem-based scenarios situated in real world classrooms–complete with insights from the case-study teachers.

The Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning is a pioneering graduate school of education that will prepare outstanding individuals for successful careers as educators. Scheller staff are collaborating with The WW Academy to transform the existing model of teacher and school leader education by contributing to the development of a competency-based teacher education program.


Our work with the Teaching Systems Laboratory is made possible by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

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Target Audience

Graduate Students, Pre-Service Teachers

Grade Span


Content Area(s)

Biology, Complex Systems, Computational Thinking

Project Manager

Ilana Schoenfeld

Curricula, Professional Development