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Michael McDowell

Michael McDowell, EdD was a public school educator for eighteen years serving in the roles of classroom teacher, academic and athletic coach, school principal, assistant superintendent of personnel and instruction, and superintendent. During his tenure as a superintendent, his school district received state and national accolades including the National Blue Ribbon Award which recognized their work for student performance and mental health and well-being in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic by the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. McDowell serves on numerous boards, served as a college professor, and worked for non-profit organizations to enhance student learning around the world. Over the course of his career, Dr. McDowell has authored bestselling books, created professional learning programs and workbooks, provided keynotes and workshops, and provided practical tools and resources for thousands of teachers and leaders on almost every continent around the world. A prolific author and consultant, Dr. McDowell is recognized as one of the leading authorities on integrating innovative and impactful practices into schools. Offering keynotes and executive coaching to heads of school around the world, he partners with educational leaders to implement high leverage strategies that will enhance teaching and learning in classrooms, schools, and systems.


  • Instructional Leadership
  • Instructional Growth
  • Teacher Effectiveness



  • Rigorous PBL: This one-day session provides a general overview of the research behind the Rigorous PBL approach and highlights specific practices for designing and implementing problem and project based learning in K-12 classrooms.
  • Rigorous PBL Foundation Days: This series walks teachers through the development of a rigorous problem or project that they can use in the classroom. The Foundation Days gives teachers time to explore the three key design shifts of clarity, challenge, and culture.
  • Rigorous Deep Dive Session Instructional Coaching Institute: This two-day session walks instructional coaches and site principals through a number of strategies and tools that can support new and veteran teachers through the project design and implementation process.
  • The Lead Learner Foundation Day: Learn how to develop clarity, coherence, and capacity across a school system or within a school to make a substantial impact on student and teacher learning.
  • The Lead Learner Day Dive Institute: This workshop focuses on developing proficiency in leadership tools that substantially enhances the knowledge and skills of school and system leaders.

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What People are Saying

"Michael is well-versed in Visible Learning and had so much to offer our administration and leaders. We learned about new areas of focus as well as tools to gather evidence."

-Patricia Lopez, Director of Teaching and Learning, Cartwright School District, Phoenix, AZ