John Downes, Associate Director

John Downes, Associate Director, Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education

In addition to being the associate director of the Tarrant Institute, John Downes is currently a doctoral research fellow at the University of Vermont. He spent ten years working with teachers to design and facilitate curriculum reform and professional development in Vermont middle schools, focusing on technology integration, student-led curriculum, collaborative teacher learning, and implementation of Turning Points reforms. John has been involved with the Middle Grades Institute for 14 years, first as a student, and since with various strands, most recently, teacher and student Postsecondary strands. His current interests include the role of student voice in teacher and school change; student efficacy; and how technology can promote teaching and learning responsive to young adolescents. He is the primary researcher on several grants and evaluations. Among these is a 1:1 laptop initiative to re-engage middle level learners; the UVM GEAR UP project to improve young adolescents postsecondary prospects; and a state-wide initiative to bring students and their voices into collaborative school change. John also enjoys traveling with his family, paddling on Lake Champlain, biking in Vermont’s mountains and valleys, and risking life and limb trying to keep up with his 18-year-old son on the slopes of the Greens and Rockies.