Explore the Standards for Professional Learning

February 2016

Read the remaining content with membership access. Join or log in below to continue. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit […]


The Learning Professional

Published Date

In This Issue


Standards Connect The Dots Between Teaching And Learning 

Have you ever wondered about the impetus for professional learning standards? Here is my view of how professional learning has come to be seen as one of the most powerful strategies for ensuring a great education for all students. In the early 1990s, new accountability systems demonstrated the inequities of educational experiences within schools and […]


(Available to the public.)

Learning Forward Offers The Opportunity To Learn, Grow, And Give Back 

I am Learning Forward! I want to share with you how I became a learning leader and a Learning Forward leader — both through the same process. In 2000, I applied to become an instructional technology specialist. This job was not about the hardware. It was about working with teachers to change their practice with […]

Learning Forward Appoints Associate Director Of Publications 

Eric Celeste has joined Learning Forward as associate director of publications. Celeste will help coordinate Learning Forward’s communication channels, primarily the member journal JSD, as well as the newsletter Tools for Learning Schools and the Education Week-hosted blog PD Watch. Celeste comes to Learning Forward after a long career editing and writing in consumer magazines, […]

Standards Assessment Inventory Available On Amplify  

Learning Forward has released its Standards Assessment Inventory (SAI) on the Amplify Professional Learning Maps platform. The partnership with Amplify — an industry leader in digital instruction, curriculum, and assessment — will provide schools and districts with an efficient and insightful method to determine the quality of professional learning their educators are receiving. The Standards Assessment […]

Fort Bend Isd Partners With Learning Forward 

This spring, Learning Forward will launch a 10-month partnership with Fort Bend Independent School District in Texas to develop a comprehensive professional learning plan that will guide educator learning in the system. Learning Forward senior consultant Linda Munger will facilitate the work of a professional learning task force made up of stakeholders across Fort Bend […]

Learning Forward Welcomes New President, Members To Board Of Trustees 

Learning Forward’s board of trustees has a new president and two new members. John Eyolfson, district science coordinator at Cherry Creek School District in Colorado, began his term as president in December. Eyolfson succeeds Deborah Renee Jackson, special project administrator for Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. Jackson now serves as past president. Eyolfson, a […]

Apply For A Learning School Designation 

Learning Forward has partnered with AdvanceEd to offer a Learning School designation to qualified schools. The designation provides schools with a set of criteria and research-based practices that indicate a quality professional learning program has been established and sustained at the school level. Achieving the designation demonstrates the school places a high value on professional learning that […] 

Establishing Time for Collaborative Professional Learning With this 10-hour, learn-at-your-own-pace online course, you can develop an in-depth understanding of why time should be built into the school day so teachers can learn and work together to improve their practice — and how that might be accomplished. Earn a certificate of completion, fulfill professional learning requirements, or get continuing […]

Pairing New Science Curriculum With Professional Learning Increases Student Achievement 

What the Study Says A randomized trial study, conducted over two school years in 18 high schools in Washington, finds that An Inquiry Approach, a three-year, educative curriculum for high school science, has a positive impact on student achievement, teacher practice, and fidelity of implementation of the curriculum when the curriculum is paired with professional […]

Standards Self-Assessment And Follow-Up 

Purpose: This tool will assist learners in gauging their own experience with standards implementation and determining solutions to common gaps in implementing the standards. Time required: 60 minutes. Preparation: Create table tents with each standard listed to use as part of the discussion and place them on separate tables. Make copies of the following two […]


Rethink teaching, Teacher resource, Policy snapshot, Accountability check, Learning outlook, Improving principals, Report on equity

Standards Have The Most Muscle When Used Together 

In the introduction to Learning Forward’s Standards for Professional Learning, we describe how educators can use the standards to plan, implement, and evaluate professional learning. The standards offer criteria against which to measure the quality of professional learning. In simpler terms, they are absolute must-haves for professional learning that leads to the results we desire […]

How The World’S Best Schools Stay On Top 

Teacher professional learning drives school improvement, according to a new study from Learning First commissioned by the Center on International Education Benchmarking of the National Center on Education and the Economy, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Based on the premise that continuous professional learning is fundamental to teacher and student success, […]

Why Adoption Of Standards Matters 

A total of 39 states have adopted, adapted, or endorsed the Standards for Professional Learning, including the standards issued in 2011 (labeled in red) and those published earlier (labeled in blue). Making a commitment to the standards is a commitment to continuous learning for all educators in a school. What Adoption Means When a state […]

Build Cultural Proficiency To Ensure Equity 

Cultural proficiency is about serving the needs of all students, with a laser-like focus on historically underserved students. When education is offered in a culturally proficient manner, historically underserved students gain access to educational opportunities intended to result in high academic achievement. When education is delivered in a culturally proficient manner, all students understand and […]

Amplify Change With Professional Capital 

In our recent work on professional capital, Andy Hargreaves and I (2013) have been explicit about the conditions at the school level that are essential for continuous professional learning. We see professional capital as the key to scaling up change efforts from individuals to groups to schools and districts. Professional capital is a function of […]

Use A Variety Of Practices To Connect With All 

The first strand of the Learning Designs standard focuses on the underlying beliefs and values that drive professional learning and the common features of robust learning environments that are informed by theories, research, and models. For example, the strand names “active engagement, modeling, reflection, metacognition, application, feedback, ongoing support, and formative and summative assessment” as […]

Gauge Impact With 5 Levels Of Data 

Effective professional learning evaluation requires consideration of five critical stages or levels of information (Guskey, 2000a, 2002a, 2005). These five levels represent an adaptation of an evaluation model developed by Kirkpatrick (1959, 1998) for judging the value of supervisory training programs in business and industry. Kirkpatrick’s model, although widely applied, has seen limited use in […]

Take A Whole New Look At How To Use Resources 

Let’s investigate in detail the most powerful resource levers for improving instruction. The following strategies, incorporating our findings from district research, case studies, and research on best practices, provide school system leaders with proven options for monitoring, trading off, reallocating, and coordinating professional learning resources in ways that maximize teaching and learning. A system’s ability […]

A Leader's Top Task Is To Nurture Talent 

 “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”  Albert Einstein School leaders who take professional learning seriously recognize that they are in an important business: talent development. This is not a perspective that is typically taught during administrator preparation programs, nor is it a focus that one often associates with the perspectives […]

Harness The Energy Of Collaboration 

In 2008, we characterized professional learning communities (PLCs) as “ongoing groups of teachers who meet regularly for the purpose of increasing their own learning and that of their students” (Lieberman & Miller, 2008, p. 2). We have come to think that they are more than that. They are not just a way for teachers to […]

Discover The Possibilities 

In 2011, Learning Forward revealed its third iteration of Standards for Professional Learning — seven characteristics of professional learning that lead to effective teaching practices, supportive leadership, and improved student results. The 2011 standards (see p. 11), built on those issued in 1994 and revised in 2001, combine decades of research, lessons learned, and input […]

Up Close 

4 Must-Haves For the Journey The Standards for Professional Learning focus attention on educator learning that relates to successful student learning. Implicit in the standards are several prerequisites for effective professional learning. They are so fundamental that the standards do not identify or describe them. These prerequisites reside where professional learning intersects with professional ethics. […]

Recent Issues

June 2022

This issue celebrates the 2022 revision of Standards for Professional Learning. It explains how and why the standards have been updated, provides examples of how educators at all levels are applying them to improve their work, and shares tools for implementing standards in your own context.

April 2022

This issue celebrates the many ways coaches are helping schools thrive in challenging times, and highlights how leaders, colleagues, and learning opportunities can support their growth and success.

February 2022

Collaboration and trust are essential to high-quality professional learning, so what happens when schools are mired in political and ideological tensions? This issue examines how to bridge divides and build community so all students can thrive.

December 2021

Building equity takes leadership at every level – in classrooms, schools, districts, and beyond – and everyone can learn to be an equity leader. This issue examines that learning journey and how to cultivate leadership that leads to change.