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Michelle Bowman

Senior Vice President, Networks & Continuous Improvement

Michelle A. Bowman is senior vice president of networks and continuous improvement at Learning Forward. She engages in and executes cross-organizational strategic thinking, especially through the strategy of networks and communities of practice, that supports state and local education agencies committed to professional development redesign and oversees the development of content and learning designs that support organizations capacity to engage in continuous improvement processes. With nearly 30 years in public education, prior to joining Learning Forward Michelle served in leadership at the district, campus, and classroom levels. Michelle completed her Ed.D. in Learning and Organizational Change at Baylor University. Her dissertation investigates how school district teams engaging in a community of practice impacts school district leaders' professional learning efficacy. She co-authored Teacher Professional Development in the Digital Age: Design and Implementation of Learning without Limits in Technology in the Classroom: How It Can Improve Teaching and Student Learning in American Schools (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) with Learning Forward Executive Director (retired) Stephanie Hirsh. Michelle refreshes her soul, mind, and body by singing songs of worship and spending time with family and friends. She enjoys great coffee and long walks.

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    Learning Forward’s 2023 Annual Conference highlighted a theme of “Evidence into Action.” Not coincidentally, some of the featured conference speakers and sessions could easily be reframed as the reverse: “Action into Evidence” as we seek greater opportunities to generate rigorous research on effectiveness. Perhaps even more accurately, “How to drive […]
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    The 11 Standards for Professional Learning explicitly address equity, and work together to create the conditions, culture, and content for equity within professional learning. Specifically, the Equity Foundations standard addresses the learning conditions and context, describing the importance of creating conditions where equity considerations permeate professional learning rather than standing […]
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    The value and promise of teaching with high-quality instructional materials has been well-documented, but research suggests that good curricula can only do so much to advance student learning. High-quality curriculum-based professional learning is required to realize its potential (Chu et al., 2022). Diverse stakeholders must work together to produce improved […]
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    It can be challenging to translate a vision of school improvement into daily practice, especially when multiple schools or systems are working together to achieve change at scale. To help address this challenge, the hub team of the Texas Network for School Improvement (TxNSI) created a set of Innovation Configuration […]
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    Professional learning is all about continuous improvement. That’s one of the reasons the latest iteration of Standards for Professional Learning is depicted in a circle: The visual reflects the cycles of continuous improvement embedded in many of the standards and essential for effective implementation (Learning Forward, 2022a). Similarly, the professional […]
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    In March 2020, emergency school closings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic initiated a sudden widespread use of virtual learning and brought new challenges that affected teaching and learning across multiple contexts. The complex change caused school district leaders to make plans to reinvent and reimagine schools (Transcend, 2020) […]
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    Learning communities provide unique opportunities for discussion, reflection, and growth. This is one of the reasons collaborative learning networks have been a focus of Learning Forward’s work for decades. In the past year, COVID-19 has presented many new challenges for educators, not only in teaching and connecting with students but […]
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    By Michelle Bowman The Student Success Learning Network, a collaboration of 15 school districts facilitated by Learning Forward, is focused on supporting students in college and career readiness. Districts participating in the network learn strategies and tactics to effect change on a chosen readiness indicator. After an initial planning session […]
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    Michelle Bowman of Learning Forward, Patricia Conner from CenterPoint Education Solutions, Megan Simmons and Cynthia Jimes from Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) consider the role of teacher leaders and how to use their expertise where it matters most. Deepen your understanding about the research and […]
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    To make professional learning more relevant to teachers—and to make sure learning opportunities are driven by data—the Hillsborough County Public Schools in Florida has given all schools a new template for identifying their goals, planning learning for teachers and recognizing when the targets have been reached. Read more to see […]
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