March 2013 Archives

In the field of professional learning, there are words that hold us back. Language has power. Language is an indicator of a person's mental models, the theories or assumptions a person holds that drive his or her thoughts, words, and actions. Too many mental models about professional learning are inadequate to promote the changes in beliefs and practices necessary to achieve equity in education for every student. These inadequate mental models emerge in the design and execution of professional learning plans for Common Core implementation.

Many educators who have seen initiatives come and go are wondering why there is always another innovation on the horizon. The answer is that, in education, we still have a huge job left undone. Students are not leaving high school ready for careers or college, and professional learning is not adequately supporting enough educators to reach all students.

While innovation may scare off those who have been involved in too many pilot projects, we need to take this opportunity to examine the impact, scale, efficiency, and effectiveness of new strategies in professional learning.

Changes of the scope of new standards, assessments, and educator effectiveness systems require extensive, widespread professional learning for every educator who shares responsibility for the success of these new initiatives.

Knowing professional learning is achieving its intended outcomes is not a simple matter, but that's no excuse for neglecting its evaluation. Explore a three-stage approach to measuring the impact of professional learning.


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