It takes more than one-and-done professional development to make a true impact.
The goal of all professional development is for teachers to acquire new knowledge and skills, and most importantly, translate their new knowledge and skills into classroom practice. Clearly, without classroom implementation, there is no impact on student learning. Unfortunately, professional development is often provided as a one time experience with unreasonable expectations that teachers should be able to immediately implement what they have learned with quality. Exemplary professional development, however, distributes the learning over time to allow teachers to continuously strengthen and refine their professional skills.
Learning-Focused is an exemplary professional development model that utilizes a distributed approach to professional learning. The Learning-Focused Instructional Framework is learned in three stages, typically distributed over several years. In The High Performance Learning-Focused, you learn the basic framework. In stage 2, Increasing the Rigor of Learning-Focused: Higher Order Thinking, Reading, and Writing, and stage 3, Accelerating Learning-Focused Lessons: Catching Kids Up, you extend your knowledge and skills of the instructional framework.
During each stage of The Learning-Focused Instructional Framework you will participate in:
- An introductory workshop to learn the overall structure, key concepts, and how the concepts connect in the instructional framework
- A sequence of online MicroPD sessions that deepen understanding of the lesson structure and associated practices and strategies
- Support meetings in which you will develop action plans, collaboratively plan, reflect on classroom practice, share ideas and hold each other accountable for implementing what you are learning.
This model of professional learning provides opportunities and time to deepen your understanding and hone your skills. It prevents you from becoming overwhelmed initially, allows for multiple exposures to key concepts, provides support during implementation, and taps on the power of collaboration and reflection to support and sustain change.