Collective Intelligence

December 2016


The Learning Professional

Published Date

In This Issue


From the director

The 22 districts participating in Learning Forward’s Redesign PD Community of Practice share our concerns that too few educators experience effective professional learning that will help them ensure all students succeed. […]


The power of thinking big. By Eric Celeste Communities of practice have become important tools for districts striving to improve teacher quality in a way that improves student outcomes, but […]

A Brief Look At Learning Forward Projects In 3 States

Learning Forward is busy with projects in systems across the country. Here are some of the places where we are working with districts to improve professional learning and some of […]

Book Club

High Expectations Teaching: How We Persuade Students to Believe and Act on “Smart is Something You Can Get” By Jon Saphier High Expectations Teaching is an assets-based approach to advancing student […]

Learning In Name And Practice

Working collaboratively with teams of professionals continues to be a practice embraced within our educational communities. This is an important trend that should continue. In fact, I’ve seen the benefits […]

Tustin High School Wins 2016 Learning Team Award

The leadership team at Tustin High School in Tustin, California, has won the 2016 Shirley Hord Teacher Learning Team Award. The award is given annually to a school-based learning team […]

How to support a coach Most teachers, including experienced ones, need support to continue to evolve professionally, hone their practice, and use new tools. This support is most powerful when […]

Lessons From Research

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 […]

Tool: RADAR protocol guides planning

Hillsborough County Public Schools in Florida has long been known as a leader in teacher learning — one with a culture of continuous improvement. To that end, leadership in the […]

Foundations For Success

Succeeding at learning, and at life, takes more than academic ability. That’s not news, but with studies on the importance of qualities like “grit” grabbing headlines, there’s a growing conviction […]

Make evaluation count

In complex educational systems, stakeholders with varied interests often put the greatest value on singular, summative outcomes tied to high-stakes tests. While those summative outcomes are useful and important, an […]

Task Mastery

For more than 20 years, education research has pointed to what Lake County teacher Tiffany Scott is experiencing firsthand: Collaboration holds promise for improving teaching and learning. Of course, research […]

Core Practices Fuel Superintendents' Equity Focus 

For eight years, more than a dozen district superintendents in New Jersey have joined together for a full day each month during the school year to listen to and learn […]

Creative Tension

Effective and authentic communities of practice in schools have the potential to support teachers in improving their instructional practices around perennial challenges, such as improving the literacy skills of all […]

Neighbors Make Great Learning Partners

When school district leaders attend instructional sessions about professional learning, they might take away a few ideas and strategies they want to try. But when experts provide those districts with […]

Taking a measure of impact

Denver Public Schools When Denver Public Schools joined the Redesign PD Community of Practice, leaders knew they needed to work on improving professional learning across the district. They had recently […]

Goals: Coherence and relevance

For more than a century, teachers in Tennessee’s Loudon County School District have come together before the start of the school year for a professional development day. But not anymore. […]

6 key features of a successful community of practice

Most educators probably know what it feels like to be part of an unproductive professional learning community — one where the topics range from last night’s TV episodes to everyone’s […]

The power of thinking big

Who knew that groups of Yucatan midwives, Liberian tailors, meat cutters, and insurance claims processors would contribute so mightily to improving public education? Etienne Wenger knew. Wenger, an educational theorist […]

Up close: Redesign PD community of practice

In December 2015, Learning Forward launched the Redesign PD Community of Practice to support 20 of the nation’s leading school districts and charter management organizations in addressing systemwide educator and […]


Principals at Work Principals’ Time, Tasks, and Professional Development: An Analysis of Schools and Staffing Survey Data Institute of Education Sciences, October 2016 This study describes how principals reported spending […]

The perfect recipe for improvement

I was talking to my sister-in-law about butternut squash the other night. As we did some meal planning for Thanksgiving, I let her know that a) we had way too […]

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