Mike Matthews

President of Authentic Education and National Board Certified Teacher

Mike Matthews (he/him/his) is a National Board Certified Teacher with over 20 years experience in education. He began as a Teach for America teacher in North Carolina. Mike spent nearly two decades at schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, teaching science, math, and technology in public, charter, and independent schools. From a crocheted coral reef to student inventions designed to be cutting edge in 2040, he has received national attention for developing innovative project-based curriculum. 

In 2014, Mike moved out of the classroom to become the Director of Curriculum and Innovation at Burke’s in San Francisco, a role that he described as working to “educate, encourage, & empower teachers to educate, encourage, & empower girls.” Mike was part of the team that founded “The Makery” innovation spaces at Burke’s and was named “a thought-leader in teaching coding in K-8 schools” by TechEdge magazine. Mike was a New York Times Wirecutter go-to expert for their ” Learning Toys and STEM Toys We Love” article. 

Mike’s work at Burke’s included facilitating professional development on the Understanding by Design model for curriculum design and leading the work to design and build a custom curriculum app for Burke’s. In 2019, Mike presented about this work and his journey with UbD at the National Association of Independent Schools, giving a “Pecha Kucha” talk entitled “ If the answer is Googleable, is the Question Worth Asking?” 

Mike has also worked with K-12 schools nationwide coaching teachers in their work designing and teaching units using the Understanding by Design framework. Mike collaborated with Klutz publishing on their Rube Goldberg machine inspired book “Lego Chain Reactions.” Mike previously served on the board of the Randall Museum of Science, Nature, and the Arts in San Francisco, and is currently the Chair of Board of Oak Meadow School, a Montessori school in Littleton, MA.

In the summer of 2022, Mike became the President of Authentic Education, the consulting firm founded by the late Grant Wiggins, the co-creator of the Understanding by Design framework. In addition to UbD works, he has consulted on projects related to assessment, inclusive hiring practices, and process/systems design. His recent work includes leading Authentic Education’s team of Subject Matter Experts in writing a groundbreaking set of anti-racist and culturally competent K-12 Social Studies standards for DC Public Schools. 

Mike earned his B.A. from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and his M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Massachusetts.

Watch Mike’s talk entitled:

“If the answer is googleable, is the question worth asking?”

Mike’s Featured Work

Check out some of Mike’s work with Understanding by Design, assessment, and more.

Building Rubrics for Efficient and Authentic Assessment

Created in Partnership with Toddle, Mike’s ebook teaches a process for designing and using rubrics.

Does Making Matter?

Listen to Mike’s “Pecha Kucha” talk from the National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference in which he explores the future of making and makerspaces in schools.

One-hour Reflect and Renew

Just published by Toddle, check out Mike’s 1-hour guided reflection to start your school year with purpose and intention!

Mike’s Blog Posts

Check out Mike’s latest posts to the AE Blog

A blog series exploring how AI chatbots are reshaping […]

Meet the rest of the Authentic Education Team

Grant Wiggins


AE’s Consulting Team