Vision, Mission, and Beliefs

Vision, Mission, and Beliefs

Learning Forward shows you how to plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so you and your team can achieve success with your system, your school, and your students.

We are the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members leverage the power of professional learning to affect positive and lasting change.

Vision

Equity and excellence in teaching and learning.

Mission

Learning Forward builds the capacity of leaders to establish and sustain highly effective professional learning.

Beliefs

  • Professional learning that improves educator effectiveness is fundamental to student learning.
  • All educators have an obligation to improve their practice.
  • More students achieve when educators assume collective responsibility for student learning.
  • Successful leaders create and sustain a culture of learning.
  • Effective school systems commit to continuous improvement for all adults and students.

Equity Position Statement

Learning Forward believes schools achieve their utmost potential when:

    • Each student experiences relevant, culturally responsive, rigorous learning and benefits from the collective guidance and care of exceptional teachers and leaders;
    • Each educator has access to high-quality professional learning so they can cultivate the
      strengths and address the needs of each student they serve; and
    • Each leader advocates for and builds an education system that dismantles institutional racism and removes other barriers to students’ equitable access to learning.

This vision for equity in schools requires transformation at every level of the education system.

Learning Forward defines equity as the outcome of educator practices that respect and nurture all aspects of student identity rather than treat them as barriers to learning. Professional learning is a critical lever to achieve equity.

Educators experience and drive change when they address their own biases and reflect on how their beliefs impact students. They build equitable schools when they increase their capacity to differentiate instruction and assessment to meet students’ needs. They contribute to an equitable system when they denounce injustices and inequitable practices. Educators cultivate equity when they leverage the cultural and linguistic assets that students bring and ensure that each learner engages in rigorous learning. This requires the use of high-quality and culturally responsive curriculum and instructional materials.

Professional learning aligned to the Standards for Professional Learning disrupts and dismantles causal inequities by:

    • Eliminating gaps in access and opportunities by ensuring high-quality teaching, leading, and
      learning;
    • Equipping educators with knowledge and strategies specifically designed to recognize and
      eliminate bias in the classroom and in their own instructional practices;
    • Strengthening self-examination practices and collective responsibility of all educators in the
      system;
    • Providing evidence and data about strategies or designs that support equitable learning;
    • Prioritizing coherent and aligned systems that provide academic rigor, high-quality curriculum and culturally relevant instructional materials, educator quality, and resources to support each student; and
    • Transforming policies at all levels that shape anti-racist learning systems for adults and students alike.

Effective professional learning removes inequities in students’ access to meaningful learning, ensuring a pathway to success for each student. When all educators engage in high-quality professional learning, all students experience equity and excellence in teaching and learning.

What members are saying

Fort Wayne Community Schools has embraced the concept of professional learning and has a very active partnership with Learning Forward. I have witnessed the transformation over the past several years. Our leadership meetings are no longer a lengthy “sit and get” PowerPoint presentation. During leadership meetings, administrators are now regularly provided time to collaborate around a common problem of practice. Administrators and instructional coaches are encouraged to coach teachers as they implement the school improvement plan. By helping principals and teachers clarify and reflect upon their practices, genuine strategies that can improve student learning are beginning to show. — Matt Schiebel