Index
Excellent Teaching and Learning Every Day

Learning Forward Reports

Professional Learning in Canada

Professional Learning in Canada

Coinciding with the 2016 Annual Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Learning Forward commissioned and supported a study of professional learning across the nation of Canada.

A research team led by Carol Campbell, Associate Professor of Leadership and Educational Change at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, examined the professional learning that educators experience in the provinces and territories of Canada. The study identifies key components and features of effective professional learning and highlights findings from what educators in the nation experience.

Included here are reports and papers resulting from the study. More will be shared as they are completed.

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A Systemic Approach to Elevating Teacher Leadership

by Joellen Killion, Cindy Harrison, Amy Colton, Chris Bryan, Ann Delehant, and Debbie Cooke

A Systemic Approach to Elevating Teacher Leadership

Created for leaders or leadership teams interested in initiating, expanding or assessing and revising approaches to teacher leadership within schools or school systems, this report offers a set of guiding questions for each of four core components of a systemic approach to teacher leadership.

The report's team of authors, Joellen Killion, Cindy Harrison, Amy Colton, Chris Bryan, Ann Delehant, and Debbie Cooke, emphasize that teacher leadership, to have its greatest impact, must be contextually defined and operationalized within conditions unique to every school district and deeply embedded in the day-to-day work of teachers and administrators.

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Coaching for Impact: Six Pillars to Create Coaching Roles That Achieve Their Potential to Improve Teaching and Learning

by Learning Forward, the University of Florida Lastinger Center, and Public Impact

Coaching for Impact: Six Pillars to Create Coaching Roles That Achieve Their Potential to Improve Teaching and Learning

Despite decades of efforts to support teachers with coaching, most teachers still do not get the support they need in their own classrooms. Yet most teachers, including experienced ones, need support to continue to evolve professionally, hone their practice, and use new tools. This support is most powerful when offered routinely and on the job by skilled professionals.

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Moving from Compliance to Agency: What Teachers Need to Make Professional Learning Work

by Laurie Calvert

Moving from Compliance to Agency: What Teachers Need to Make Professional Learning Work

Learning Forward and the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future interviewed teachers and school administrators to understand the disconnect between the professional learning that teachers need and want and what they actually experience on the job. Teacher agency emerged as a factor that needs to be elevated in the discourse about professional learning.

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Facilitator Guide for Beyond PD: Teacher Professional Learning in High-Performing Systems

by Joellen Killion

Facilitator Guide for Beyond PD: Teacher Professional Learning in High-Performing Systems

This resource suggests ways for unpacking and applying findings from the study to assist education leaders, policy makers, 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.

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Evidence of Effectiveness

by Nancy Ames Slabine

Evidence of Effectiveness

Explore the impact of Learning Forward's work. The organization has accumulated a body of evidence that its programs and services are linked to improved professional development policy and practice at state, district, and school levels. The organization also has found evidence that implementing these policies and practices can lead to improved school climate, curriculum, assessment, instruction, and student achievement. Read about Learning Forward's theory of action and products and services, and understand the organization's in-depth work through case studies at the state and district levels.

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Building Professional Development to Support New Student Assessment Systems

by Stephanie Hirsh

Building Professional Development to Support New Student Assessment Systems

Authored by Stephanie Hirsh, this white paper for Arabella Philanthropic Advisors is one of several on school reform topics by noted authors. New assessment systems will provide teachers with significant new opportunities to guide all students toward college and career readiness. To benefit from such assessments, states will need to be more thoughtful than they have been in the past about conceiving, organizing, managing, implementing, and evaluating effective professional development. The paper offers eight recommendations to help rebuild professional development infrastructure to support these systems.

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Status of Professional Learning

by Learning Forward and Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education

Status of Professional Learning

Launched in 2008 by NSDC and a team of researchers from the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE), the three-part Status of Professional Learning research study aims to measure the effectiveness of professional learning in the United States. Funding for the multiyear research effort comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Why Professional Development Matters

by Hayes Mizell

Why Professional Development Matters

Written for parents, community members, and policy makers by Learning Forward's senior distinguished fellow, this booklet explains in fundamental terms what professional development is and why it is an important school improvement strategy.

This series of Q-and-As is useful for helping audiences outside of education to understand this critical topic. Download the publication to share at board meetings or community gatherings. Share copies with local, state, and federal policy makers in your advocacy work.

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Advancing High-Quality Professional Learning through Collective Bargaining and State Policy

by NSDC, NEA, AFT, and CCSSO

Advancing High-Quality Professional Learning through Collective Bargaining and State Policy

Through collective bargaining agreements and state policies, local school districts and states establish the conditions, resources, and processes for professional learning that strengthen teaching and student learning. Learning Forward, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and the National Education Association (NEA) formed a national partnership to share collective bargaining agreements and state policies that support high-quality professional learning for every teacher. Read this report to explore specific policies and recommendations for future actions.

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Job-Embedded Professional Development: What It Is, Who Is Responsible, and How to Get It Done Well

by Andrew Croft, Jane G. Coggshall, Megan Dolan, Elizabeth Powers, with Joellen Killion

Job-Embedded Professional Development: What It Is, Who Is Responsible, and How to Get It Done Well

Prepared collaboratively by the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, the Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center, and NSDC, this issue brief strives to define job-embedded professional development, identify who is responsible for it, and describe how to implement it.

The brief includes research base, practical examples, and recommendations for districts, schools, and other education agencies either implementing or advocating for this powerful form of professional learning.

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Teacher Professional Development Evaluation Guide

by M. Bruce Haslam of Policy Studies Associates

Teacher Professional Development Evaluation Guide

This guide offers succinct recommendations for more frequent and more rigorous evaluation of teacher professional development to improve both the quality of professional learning and its results. Developed originally under contracts with Harford County Public Schools and the Maryland State Department of Education, this report assists schools and districts to evaluate the impact of teacher professional development on teaching practice and student learning. Learning Forward supported modifications to the resource guide to make it useful for schools and districts in all states and beyond.

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