The expression “practice makes perfect” depends on the value of that practice. Tom Arnett, Research Fellow at the Christensen Institute, argues that good practice must be feedback-informed. In an exclusive interview, Tom dives into “purposeful practice” and gives an example of a program that’s doing it right.
The following is a guest contribution from James Noonan, Ed.D.
BY: JAMES NOONAN
Ask teachers about professional development (PD) and you are likely to be met with a shrug or a grimace, but as Ann Webster-Wright has argued, there is a revealing gap between teachers’ rhetoric about professional development and their own experiences of authentic and meaningful learning. If pressed, most teachers have important stories to tell about powerful professional learning. My research has focused on what we can learn from these apparently outlying experiences.
Listening to teacher accounts of powerful learning, one thing is immediately clear: the tremendous variation along many dimensions, including format, duration, and content. Powerful learning takes as many shapes as there are teachers willing to share their stories.
“We need to treat our teachers like we expect them to treat their students”, states Lisa Highfill, Instructional Technology Coach at Pleasanton Unified School District. Lisa reflects on how she designed and facilitated personalized professional learning based on her teachers’ individual needs, abilities, and interests. This personalized approach characterized by trust invested teachers in their growth and development. Listen here or read the transcript below: more
We interviewed Lisa Highfill, Instructional Technology Coach at Pleasanton Unified School District about the steps she and her colleagues have taken to provide differentiated and active professional learning for their teachers. She discusses the importance of building trust with teachers by truly listening to their needs and creating learning opportunities that feel relevant and meaningful. Listen here or read the transcript below. more
As educators who are passionate about improving our practice, we left the classroom in order to help schools better support teachers. We found that recent dialogue has questioned the mere existence of professional development, and much of the conversation has focused on what’s not working in the field. For that reason, we created The Cycle, where education leaders can join a candid discussion about how schools are taking fresh approaches to providing relevant, inspiring, and effective professional learning. We’re excited and honored to facilitate this dialogue. more
Recently, KickUp co-founder and CEO, Jeremy Rogoff had the opportunity to speak with Daniel Bauer on Better Leaders Better Schools, a podcast for the school leader community . You can listen to it here. The conversation covers Jeremy’s own leadership style and the importance of clear communication. Jeremy reflects on the lessons he has learned while building a startup and how they can be applied to today’s education leaders. He discusses KickUp’s approach of listening to the pain points and goals of PD leaders in order to build a responsive solution that addresses the challenges involved with assessing and increasing the impact of professional learning. Listen to full the episode here.
KickUp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Rogoff, spent time with Dr. Rod Berger at the 2016 ASCD annual conference. You can listen to the interview here. The two discuss how KickUp helps school districts collect ongoing data from teachers as way to make informed decisions about professional learning. Jeremy notes the importance of involving all stakeholders in this process and explains how it is essential to ask the right questions in order to get actionable data. He emphasizes the need to use data to drive teacher support as opposed to solely using data for evaluation purposes. Listen to the interview here – http://www.edcircuit.com/teacher-development-defining-meaningful-data/