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Discover The Possibilities

By Eric Celeste Celeste
February 2016
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 from 40 professional education organizations. Undergirding all seven standards is this fundamental premise: The purpose of professional learning is for educators to develop the knowledge, skills, practices, and dispositions they need to help students perform at higher levels. The standards are not a prescription for how education leaders and public officials should address all the challenges related to improving the performance of educators and their students. The standards focus on

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Authors

Eric Celeste

Eric Celeste (eric.celeste@learningforward.org) is Learning Forward’s associate director of publications and editor of JSD.

Standards for Professional Learning  

Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students …

Learning Communities: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students occurs within learning communities committed to continuous improvement, collective responsibility, and goal alignment.

Leadership: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students requires skillful leaders who develop capacity, advocate, and create support systems for professional learning.

Resources: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students requires prioritizing, monitoring, and coordinating resources for educator learning.

Data: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students uses a variety of sources and types of student, educator, and system data to plan, assess, and evaluate professional learning.

Learning Designs: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students integrates theories, research, and models of human learning to achieve its intended outcomes.

Implementation: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students applies research on change and sustains support for implementation of professional learning for long-term change.

Outcomes: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students aligns its outcomes with educator performance and student curriculum standards.

Relationship Between Professional Learning and Student Results

  1. When professional learning is standards-based, it has greater potential to change what educators know, are able to do, and believe.
  2. When educators’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions change, they have a broader repertoire of effective strategies to use to adapt their practices to meet performance expectations and student learning needs.
  3. When educator practice improves, students have a greater likelihood of achieving results.
  4. When student results improve, the cycle repeats for continuous improvement.

discover-the-possibilities

This cycle works two ways: If educators are not achieving the results they want, they determine what changes in practice are needed and then what knowledge, skills, and dispositions are needed to make the desired changes. They then consider how to apply the standards so that they can engage in the learning needed to strengthen their practice.

References

National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). Public school teacher attrition and mobility in the first five years: Results from the first through fifth waves of the 2007-08 beginning teacher longitudinal study. Washington, DC: Author.



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