At METC, I attended a session called “Thinking about Professional Development as a Design Process” with Kristin Swanson. She hit upon several hot topics that have been bouncing in my mind in regards to professional learning.
Here are my conference tweets and thoughts on professional learning:
I will admit I experience a lot of frustration around the tweet above. Quit simply put, if we never innovate within our professional learning structures, how can we expect innovation to happen in our classrooms?
I believe strongly in Learner Agency.
Instead of requiring a one-size fits all PD approach, what can we do to engage all learners in what they need at their point of need? We pay teachers to be professionals and yet at times our treatment of these professionals in their learning process is very top-down. I’d like to see a change in systems thinking. Model for adults what you want to see in your classrooms. Let teachers experience innovation as learners and you just might ignite a passion that can’t be stopped.
I would like to see a district share a learning roadmap and ask teachers what part can they play in the process. What if educators were able to identify the questions they need to answer, where they need to grow, and how they learn best? What if we developed a highly differentiated PD process where the learner can opt in at their point of need?
I loved these two questions during this METC session. Often times a small group of educators are at the PD development table. Keeping ourselves in tune with the “Why” and “Who” would help us create better implementation plans.
There is a lot of research on how many hours are required to deeply change your practices. What I notice is conflicting messages ending with educators suffering EDU initiative whiplash. My question becomes… is whiplash occurring because those in charge of creating the PD plan have engaged in such deep learning on the initiative that they are ready to move on even when the system doesn’t reflect this thinking in practice? There is often a disconnect between how initiatives fit with the big picture. We need to figure out how to close this gap.
Filtering for the best information and resources is critical. I would love to see how big systems are handling the flow of information sharing. There are as many curation tools as there are learning styles. It stands to reason if you can land on a common platform, you can begin to really sustain a great conversation.
I do think reflection is a critical component in the learning process. I’m finding just by taking time to go back through my METC notes (aka Tweets) I stop to ponder what can I do to help design better learning opportunities.
My Professional Learning 2.0 Commitment
My commitment to professional learning comes in form of creating a new learning network for staff. We call it LEADS iIN (Instructional Innovation Network). Take a look and let me know what you think. There is a Google Form on the side of the site to share your thoughts as we design, reflect, and build a dynamic learning network.
What is YOUR commitment to creating and promoting Professional Learning 2.0?