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Advancing equity

By Learning Forward
October 2018
Vol. 39 No. 5

The article “Come together for equity” on pp. 24-27 highlights the importance of engaging educators in examining beliefs, practices, and systems that support or hinder all students’ opportunities to learn. In the pages that follow, we present a tool that can help education leaders and professional learning specialists assess whether and how they are creating space for this work and brainstorm additional ways to prioritize it.

This tool is designed to help you think about both the content of professional learning (whether and how it addresses beliefs, practices, and systems) and the contexts (individual, team, or whole-school professional learning). Schools are often challenged to balance many contexts and needs for professional learning, and the challenge is especially acute when it comes to advancing equity because the process requires ongoing inquiry into personal beliefs, a commitment to expanding one’s repertoire of professional practices, and constant collaboration to develop student-centered systems. It requires a strategic approach to professional learning.

To create and implement such an approach, we encourage you to consider each professional learning context and content area in turn. This tool has three separate sections focused on individual learning, team learning, and whole-school learning. Each provides space for considering beliefs, practices, and systems, including where your school’s opportunities stand now and how they can be improved moving forward.

After you complete the three sections, we encourage you to consider the reflection questions in Part 2 in order to compare across the three contexts and consider all of your efforts as a whole.



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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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