Joellen Killion

Joellen Killion ( is senior advisor to Learning Forward. In each issue of JSD, Killion explores a recent research study to help practitioners understand the impact of particular professional learning practices on student outcomes.

Help your coaching program achieve its potential

By Joellen Killion | October 1, 2020

While coaching programs have expanded and become a common approach to continuous learning for strengthening professional practice and student success, their infrastructures still need work. For coaching to deeply transform practice and push through to results for students, school system leaders must build, remodel, and maintain a foundation that ensures coaching will succeed. In the…

Professional learning while hunkering down

By Joellen Killion | June 4, 2020

Educators today have a heightened sense of urgency and stress during this unusual time. While they first worry about their own family and loved ones, they next worry about their students’ social, emotional, and academic well-being and success. Educators, like other adults, are asking questions about their lives, social interactions, and work and they seek…

Assessing the Impact of Professional Learning

By Joellen Killion | April 24, 2020

To make informed decisions about professional learning, educators use data gathered from formative and summative evaluations. In an era of rapid-cycle change as is common with continuous improvement within communities of practice, school improvement, or cycles of inquiry, evaluation becomes a core part of the process. Assessing the impact of well-designed professional learning as well…

Research Review

By Joellen Killion | February 1, 2017

Math teachers and their students benefit from eMINTS, a program steeped in the Standards for Professional Learning.

Lessons From Research

By Joellen Killion | December 1, 2016

What the Study Says When district and school administrators and other key leaders engage together in instructional rounds within schools, they develop social networks that assume characteristics of communities of practice. Within these communities, they build relationships and develop a common language and shared understanding about teaching and learning. The practice of instructional rounds is…

Lessons From Research

By Joellen Killion | August 1, 2016

What the Study Says University faculty led a three-year teacher professional development initiative to integrate technology into instruction in two rural, high-poverty middle schools in the Southeast. The study demonstrates that schoolwide professional development sustained over two to three years improves efficiency and effectiveness of instruction and produces significant increases in end-of-grade assessment scores, with…

Implementation Fidelity Affects The Degree Of Change In Teacher Practice

By Joellen Killion | June 1, 2016

  What The Study Says School improvement that depends on professional development as a primary means for implementing effective instructional practice requires deliberate attention to implementation fidelity of both the content and process of professional development, the ongoing development of professional developers, and the measurement of implementation over time. When schools have high-fidelity implementation of…

Establish Time For Learning

By Joellen Killion | June 1, 2016

The issue in brief The major challenge with time is finding it. Current school-day schedules and school-year calendars are leaner than ever because of budget reductions. States and districts have implemented furlough days to balance lean-and-mean budgets that show no sign of improving. Few are willing to take the leap toward reducing instructional time to…

4 common misconceptions about feedback: An excerpt from The Feedback Process

By Joellen Killion | May 2, 2016

There are many popular misconceptions about the content of feedback in the literature. Most misconceptions about feedback result from a more traditional view of feedback as information transmitted to a learner by a knowledgeable other as a part of assessment or evaluation.

Changes In Coaching Study Design Shed Light On How Features Impact Teacher Practice

By Joellen Killion | April 1, 2016

What The Study Says Teacher coaching is a powerful form of professional learning that improves teaching practices and student achievement, yet little is known about the specific aspects of coaching programs that are more effective. Researchers used a blocked randomized experiment to study the effects of one-to-one coaching on teacher practice. When pooled across all…