Individual & Collective

April 2015

It takes both learning options to complete the picture.


The Learning Professional

Published Date

In This Issue


Spring Webinar Series Continues 

Spring webinar series continues

Action Alert On ESEA

Thank you to all who responded to Learning Forward’s action alert last month. Congress is at work this year to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Many came forward to sign Learning Forward’s petition encouraging policymakers to be sure the law includes funds focused solely on effective professional learning. Learning Forward’s advocacy efforts related […]

Learning Forward Affiliates 

Learning Forward Affiliates

Group Takes Fresh Look At Adult Learning 

Rethinking adult learning is essential to the redesign of learning for children. Learning Forward is facilitating a diverse group of leading thinkers, designers, and practitioners called the PD Brain Trust to inspire new thinking and generate new expertise about how to create demand for — and deliver — redesigned systems of support that guarantee all […] 

Demonstrating Impact Learning Forward works with educators at the school, system, regional, state, provincial, and national levels, providing a range of services and supports. This infographic offers a detailed look at Learning Forward’s impact within the U.S. So far, 38 states have adopted or adapted the Standards for Professional Learning, 41 states have a Learning […]

The High Cost Of Convenience 

Novel ways of thinking often come from the cross-pollination of language from other professions. The term “satisficing” is one such term and is a powerful construct that fuses two concepts, satisfy and suffice, together to explain something new. In the mid-1950s, social scientist and Nobel laureate in economics Herbert A. Simon defined “satisficing” as a […]

Net Results 

Protocols are strategies for having structured communication to enhance problem solving, encourage different perspectives, and build shared knowledge. The protocol process helps professional development leaders build community. The use of the term protocols by educators became popular in the 1990s. Reformers, needing tools to help them engage in the difficult work of strengthening practice and forming […]

Spread Effective Teaching From Room To Room 

When I was a local school board member, parents frequently asked for my advice on how to ensure their child got a particular teacher in a school. I knew how the game would be played after I reminded them this wasn’t the role of the school board: They would write the principal with their requests […]



On Board

Over the past year, I started a new coaching relationship with an administrator. Walking through the leader’s school, I was transported back to eight years ago, when I was the new principal at a high-performing high school. It didn’t take long to see I had a journey ahead of me. Within weeks, I knew that […]

Book Club

Book Club

PD Brain Trust 

PD Brain Trust

Lessons From Research 

14What The Study Says In this study of 16 teachers in two primary schools in the Netherlands, researchers built on findings from previous studies to demonstrate that a thoughtfully designed professional development program can be “effective and sustainable, if certain conditions are met” (p. 772) in changing teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, perceived problems, and classroom practices. […]

One Protocol, Two Ways 

Most protocols are flexible and can be used or adapted for multiple purposes. The Descriptive Consultancy (McDonald et al., 2007), developed by Nancy Mohr, is a variation on The Consultancy, developed by Gene Thompson-Grove, Paula Evans, and Faith Dunne at the Coalition of Essential Schools and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. Consultancies, in all […]


Deeper learning, Blended learning, Content reviews, Teacher leadership, Transformative thinking, Moving toward equity, Strong principals

Take Ownership Of Your Learning 

A couple of weeks ago, one of my colleagues related a coaching experience where she was in the position of sitting and watching, when she could have been trying and doing. She knew she wouldn’t be able to apply her learning until she put it into practice. While she needed her peer’s expertise, she also […]

The Shift From 'Me' To 'We' 

The athletic coach’s focus is to develop individual skills as well as the collective capacity of the team to perform at the highest level. A coaching culture applies the same concept to schools. What might this dual approach to coaching — the individual and the collective — mean and look like in schools? How is […]

A Sense Of Balance 

The York Region District School Board in Ontario, Canada, is moving to what Hargreaves and Shirley call the fourth way of learning (Hargreaves & Shirley, 2009), which emphasizes teacher professionalism and the importance of leadership that is responsive to student and teacher needs. Leaders of this high-performing district knew that what took it from good […]

'what If' Sparks A New Way To Learn 

In trying to make professional learning as individualized as possible, have we sacrificed collaboration and made the personal impersonal? This question came to mind as I took my school district’s standardized, required courses covering such topics as copyright, conflict of interest, and bullying. I completed the forms and received credit. Along the way, there were […]

Tailored To Fit 

Professional learning communities have long been considered a powerful form of collaborative professional learning, as the Learning Communities standard in Learning Forward’s Standards for Professional Learning attests (Learning Forward, 2011). This focus on communities can engage teachers in ongoing professional dialogue and examination of student work as members learn with and from each other over […]

Data Drives These Coaches 

Go to any school board meeting and you will hear about the projects, goals, and initiatives taking place in the district’s schools. School-based staff must continue to learn and enact more effective instructional practices to ensure that students are reaching higher benchmark expectations. Research highlights the importance of individualized approaches and coaching to ongoing professional […]

An Argument Everyone Wins 

Do you like hot chocolate or chicken noodle soup on a cold winter day? Would you prefer to travel by bus or train to New York City? A 2nd-grade teacher recounted these verbal interchanges as examples of arguments facilitated routinely in her classroom. She lauded the accomplishments of her 2nd-grade students maturely engaging in conversational […]

Pieces Of The Learning Puzzle 

Educators are demanding opportunities to access learning specific to their needs, and there are more options than ever for school systems to personalize learning. Sometimes these personalized learning options go hand-in-hand with teacher effectiveness systems that districts use to identify areas for educator growth. At the same time, schools and teams set collective goals for […]

Up Close 

Collective responsibility “Collective participation advances the goals of a whole school or team as well as those of individuals. Communities of caring, analytic, reflective, and inquiring educators collaborate to learn what is necessary to increase student learning. Within learning communities, members exchange feedback about their practice with one another, visit each other’s classrooms or work […]

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