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Hello and welcome. In this lesson we'll continue to look at the alignment between professional development and adult learning theories. And in particular, we'll look at how your PD aligns to Knowle's third assumption of adult learning, which is called readiness to learn. So let's get started.
As roles change, our readiness to learn changes as well. We've all experienced this at points in our lives. I'll give you three examples you may be able to relate to. I never needed to know how to change a diaper, but then I became a father and that left me no choice but to figure out how to do it. Before becoming an administrator, the thought of creating a school budget seemed overwhelming. Now it's manageable. And until I was asked to produce these videos, I never knew how to use editing software.
In all three examples, I learned how to do something because my role changed and I was developmentally ready to handle it. In the case of the diapers, I didn't have to like it, though. We are professionals and we want to develop our practice, and we are adult learners as well. In order to succeed, we need to connect all of these roles and ensure that they are aligned. It begins with the design and ends with the implementation.
Along the way, teachers need to be able to make those connections outlined in Knowle's six assumptions in order for it to make an impact on classroom practice. The first two assumptions, learner self concept and experience, lead us right into assumption three, adults' readiness to learn. The three-step process begins with identifying areas of existing alignment, then identifying areas of misalignment, and finally we look for ways to enhance the alignment.
By undertaking this alignment and questioning process, you will stimulate a great deal of thinking and possible solutions to make your learning experience even better. There are no wrong answers to these questions. Let's try it with readiness to learn, which states that when a person matures his or her readiness to learn evolves with the development of their social role. Step one is to find out if this assumption aligns with our professional development plan, but first we need a plan.
A district is implementing a new science program that is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. They bring in representatives from the publishing company to explain the materials and resources during a full-day training. The training is hands-on and there are plenty of opportunities for learners to ask questions. So let's begin our analysis.
One would hope that the district has informed teachers that they are required to use the materials immediately. In this scenario the hands-on nature makes it much more likely that participants use the materials immediately and with a little reservation. Organizers of the PD must target and invite only those teachers who will be using this information as part of their roles, otherwise they will have a room full of uninterested participants. The last question asks if the participants have the background skills necessary to use what they are learning. In this case, if it's a room full of science teachers, then yes.
The second step looks for areas of misalignment, meaning that parts are all of the assumptions are missing from the plan. What needs to be changed in order for the learner to understand the importance of this information? In our example, nothing because there is no choice-- the new program will be used. What parts of the professional development plan are not immediately useful to the participants? Depending on how deep in the program the presenter gets and how well organized the presentation is, sometimes speakers can get sidetracked and spent too much time on non-essential information. And the final question is simply answered by the fact that they are in attendance, they will know the importance and immediacy of the learning.
Lastly, we look at ways to enhance or better align the PD t assumption three by asking the following questions. One thing that might change could be that in addition to the representative from the publishing company presenting, some actual teachers who use the program could come as well. What needs to be changed for the professional development to be immediately useful? Since teachers are expected to use the program, nothing needs to be changed for this and the next question, as well.
And finally, what needs to be improved so that the activity can be strengthened to highlight the need for this information into the participants' current role? In this case, more background information on the Next Generation Science Standards will go a long way toward making this happen. So it's time to go ahead and summarize this lesson. We started by introducing the importance of aligning professional development with adult learning theories in general.
We looked at the three steps of identifying alignment, identifying misalignment, and identifying areas of enhancement with Knowle's assumption called readiness to learn. I then modeled an analysis of a professional learning opportunity using a series of questions. And now for today's food for thought.
Come up with some real life examples of your own when your role dictated a readiness to learn something new. For more information on how to apply what you learned in this video, please view the additional resources section that accompanied this presentation. The additional resources section includes hyperlinks useful for applications of the course material, including brief descriptions of each resource. Thanks so much for watching. We'll see you next time.
(00:18-00:56) Ready To Lean
(00:57-01:25) Assumption 3
(01:26-01:58) The Steps
(01:59-03:00) Step 1
(03:01-03:39) Step 2
(03:40-04:22) Step 3
(04:23-05:12) Food For Thought/Summary
Creating Effective District Professional Development Plans
This white paper offers guidelines and templates for developing a district professional development plan.
Directions for Writing School Level Professional Development Plans
Blue Hills Community Services has developed easy to follow, step-by-step directions for creating a school level professional development plan.
Teacher Talent Toolbox: Professional Development
This toolbox outlines the necessary components and considerations for a professional development plan. The toolbox includes useful training and templates for teachers as they design their plan.