3 Steps, 1 Goal

By Learning Forward
December 2012
Vol. 33 No. 6
Teacher education and professional development prepare teachers with up-to-date knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for effective teaching. To sustain this, however, hinges on continued professional learning within schools. Research shows that establishing long-term conditions that allow teachers to learn continuously from one another within schools is among the most effective ways to support teacher learning (Heck, Banilower, Weiss, & Rosenberg, 2008). At a private school in metropolitan New York City, eight pre-K through 8th-grade teachers have the chance to do just that by participating in monthly professional learning focused on improving math instruction. The program engages multilevel teacher groups in three steps: brief, observe, and debrief. Using this framework, the school supports teacher learning about reform-based instructional practices, including content development across grade levels. The

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Regina M. Mistretta

Regina M. Mistretta ( is an associate professor at St. John’s University School of Education in Staten Island, N.Y.


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Heck, D.J., Banilower, I.R., Weiss, I.R., & Rosenberg, S. (2008). Studying the effects of professional development: The case of the NSF’s local systemic change through teacher enhancement initiative. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 39(2), 113-152.


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Learning Forward is the only professional association devoted exclusively to those who work in educator professional development. We help our members plan, implement, and measure high-quality professional learning so they can achieve success with their systems, schools, and students.

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