Magazine article The Learning Professional

What Professional Learning Story Will You Tell at the End of the School Year?

Magazine article The Learning Professional

What Professional Learning Story Will You Tell at the End of the School Year?

Article excerpt

We have all heard these criticisms of professional development: Too many teachers complain it is ineffective and a waste of their time; too little research documents its impact on educator practice or student results; well-constructed and respected research studies are too complicated and expensive for people whose first responsibility is to run schools.

A challenge that comes to mind for me is: Because effective professional learning is part of a larger continuous improvement system, it is difficult and expensive to isolate its effect on the system. So how do we talk with authority about professional learning's impact on school improvement and student learning?

One of Learning Forward's three strategic priorities is impact and accountability. That means that we'll be providing not only resources and information that help you make an impact, but also resources to help you document the impact of professional learning.

This is why Learning Forward is launching an effort this year called "Tell Your Story," which invites you to detail your professional learning journey and its results. We'll partner with organizations such as My Learning Plan and The Teaching Channel that have the capacity to help you capture the information that documents the impact of professional learning on your school, team, or individuals in the system.

Your stories will help build the case for why professional learning matters, how it makes a difference for educators and students, and why it merits the attention and investment of policymakers and education leaders alike.

Professional development is the best strategy we have for helping all educators improve their performance and helping all students achieve. Too frequently, we are distracted by those who would reallocate professional learning resources, including personnel and time, to other, sexier ideas. Professional learning requires serious and substantive commitment. …

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