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How The World’S Best Schools Stay On Top

By Joellen Killion
February 2016
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, Beyond PD: Teacher Professional Learning in High-Performing Systems (Jensen, Sonnemann, Roberts-Hull, & Hunter, 2016) is a cross-case analysis that examines teacher professional learning practices in four high-performing school systems — Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and British Columbia — and identifies common practices across the four systems. These four systems have retained positions at or near the top of international student assessments and are systems in which policymakers and educators leverage

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Authors

Joellen Killion

Joellen Killion (joellen.killion@learningforward.org) is senior advisor at Learning Forward.

Tool Kit for Team Study

how-the-worlds-best-schools-stay-on-top2Facilitator Guide for Beyond PD: Teacher Professional Learning in High-Performing Systems, by Joellen Killion, offers ways to unpack and apply findings from the study to assist education leaders, policymakers, and decision makers in improving the quality of professional learning in schools. With more than 35 tools, the guide offers multiple entry points into the latest knowledge from the field, focusing stakeholders on practical implications and next steps. Access the guide at www.learningforward.org/publications/beyond-pd-resources.

References

Easton, L.B. (2015). Powerful designs for professional learning (3rd ed.). Oxford, OH: Learning Forward.

Hirsh, S., Psencik, K., & Brown, F. (2014). Becoming a learning system. Oxford, OH: Learning Forward.

Jensen, B., Sonnemann, J., Roberts-Hull, K., & Hunter, A. (2016). Beyond PD: Teacher professional learning in high-performing systems. Washington, DC: National Center on Education and the Economy.

Killion, J. (2013a). Comprehensive professional learning system: A workbook for states and districts. Oxford, OH: Learning Forward. Available at www.learningforward.org/docs/default-source/commoncore/comprehensive-professional-learning-system.pdf.

Killion, J. (2013b). Establishing time for professional learning. Oxford, OH: Learning Forward. Available at www.learningforward.org/docs/default-source/commoncore/establishing-time-for-professional-learning.pdf.

Killion, J. (2013c). Meet the promise of content standards: The role of third-party providers. Oxford, OH: Learning Forward. Available at www.learningforward.org/docs/default-source/commoncore/the-role-of-third-party-providers.pdf.

Killion, J. & Roy, P. (2009). Becoming a learning school. Oxford, OH: NSDC.

Learning Forward. (n.d.) Vision, mission, beliefs, priorities. Available at www.learningforward.org/who-we-are/purpose-beliefs-priorities.

Learning Forward. (2011). Standards for Professional Learning. Oxford, OH: Author.

Learning Forward. (2012). Standards into practice: School-based roles. Innovation Configuration maps for Standards for Professional Learning. Oxford, OH: Author.

Learning Forward. (2013). Standards into practice: School system roles. Innovation Configuration maps for Standards for Professional Learning. Oxford, OH: Author.

Learning Forward. (2014). Standards into practice: External roles. Innovation Configuration maps for Standards for Professional Learning. Oxford, OH: Author.


Joellen Killion is a senior advisor to Learning Forward and previously served as the organization’s deputy executive director. Killion has over 30 years of experience in planning, design, implementation, and evaluation of professional learning at the school, system, and state/provincial levels.


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