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 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