Learning Forward Reports
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. Read Reports
A Systemic Approach to Elevating Teacher Leadership
by Joellen Killion, Cindy Harrison, Amy Colton, Chris Bryan, Ann Delehant, and Debbie Cooke
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. Read Report
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
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. Read Report
Moving from Compliance to Agency: What Teachers Need to Make Professional Learning Work
by Laurie Calvert
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. Read Report
Facilitator Guide for Beyond PD: Teacher Professional Learning in High-Performing Systems
by Joellen Killion
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. Read Report
Evidence of Effectiveness
by Nancy Ames Slabine
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. Read Report
Building Professional Development to Support New Student Assessment Systems
by Stephanie Hirsh
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. Read Report
Status of Professional Learning
by Learning Forward and Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education
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. Read Reports
Why Professional Development Matters
by Hayes Mizell
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. Read Report
Advancing High-Quality Professional Learning through Collective Bargaining and State Policy
by NSDC, NEA, AFT, and CCSSO
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. Read Report
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
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. Read Report
Teacher Professional Development Evaluation Guide
by M. Bruce Haslam of Policy Studies Associates
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. Read Report