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Creating Professional Development Training

Creating Professional Development Training


In this lesson, students create professional development training based on a school or site based initiative that includes applicable theories, best practices, and standards.

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Source: Globe, Clker,; Stick Figure, Clker,; Learning Forward,

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Hi there, welcome to this lesson. It's called, Creating Professional Development Training. In this lesson, I will model the development of a school based professional development training following a series of steps and using a template to build the plan. I'll also include applicable theories, best practices, and relevant standards as well. We have a lot to get to, so let's get started.

In 2014, learningforward completely revamped the professional development standards for educators. The most current version includes research based practices in adult learning theory. The standards are an incredible resource for those in the position to develop high quality professional growth plans and activities.

I will use them in this lesson to guide me, as I complete a professional development planning template. The seven standards are learning communities, resources, learning designs, outcomes, leadership, data, and implementation. As I go through the process of creating a professional development plan, I will keep these in mind and reference them often.

I've created this basic professional development planning template that I will pull apart and complete along the way. At the end of the lesson, you will see the template in its entirety once again.

Step one, determine your site based initiative target. In our example, a school's professional development initiative will be focused on the work of Carol Tomlinson and differentiated instruction. It is to use differentiated instruction strategies to meet the needs of all learners and increase student achievement. This was selected as a result of the district's vision and goals, which include many statements regarding the range of student needs within any given classroom. For this step, I would like to cite standards five and six, which are leadership and data, both of which play a part in determining the target and designing the plan around it.

Step two is to develop outcomes and objectives. The leadership team in this district has reviewed the data and recognize the fact that there are groups of students whose needs are not being met. By getting the teachers to use practices outlined by Carol Tomlinson, it would address this issue, and students will be getting instruction geared toward their specific needs.

In task standard number seven, planning for instruction is really the perfect fit for anything having to do with DI. It states that the teacher plans an instruction that supports every student. Here I will cite standard two, resources. The work of Carol Tomlinson will act as the primary means used to train teachers.

When establishing these outcomes, I would also like to reference ISTE standard one, facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity, because that is one of the benefits of differentiated instruction. Also, it speaks directly to Danielson's domain one instruction. Many of the DI strategies center around engagement and discussion.

Step three, determine the delivery model. This professional development really emphasizes social learning theory. This plan has it all-- observation with partners, discussions in small groups, and school-wide learning as well.

Of course, it also reflects situated learning theory, in that they will be practicing these strategies in the classroom, while they're still learning them. There's also an element of transformational learning theory, because the components of experience, critical reflection, reflective discourse, and taking action are evident. And finally, professional learning standard one, learning communities, jumps right out at me, because teachers will be observing one another.

Step four, determine who will deliver it. In this example, the delivery is somewhat tiered. First, an instructor will be brought in to lay the groundwork. But the day-to-day practice in learning will be supported by instructional coaches during grade level meeting times. This smaller group approach really speaks to professional standard three, learning designs.

Step five, develop SMART goals. It's time to create a SMART goal that takes into account the standards based outcomes and objectives. We also want to make sure that we include the time frame in what we want to have happen.

So here is what it looks like. I've kept this one simple by only including a single date. But you could certainly add more along the way, related to delivery, monitoring, and so on. This can be connected with standards four and seven, which are outcomes and implementation. The plan, of course, is to implement these strategies and practices, in order to achieve the final outcome.

Step six, develop a competency based rubric. Here I've developed a fairly basic competency based rubric, to measure the effectiveness of the plan and teacher competencies. I've decided to make it a holistic rubric. But you certainly can use an analytical one as well. Either way, you will want to reflect elements of the many research based standards that are available, like InTASC, ISTE, or those put out by the National Board. Or perhaps you will align your rubric with your evaluation model, based on Marzano's framework or Charlotte Danielson's.

Step seven, review alignment. As I went through these steps, I pointed out the many places that this plan is aligned with standards of professional learning. At this point in the process, if you felt there are any areas that were lacking, the plan would undergo a revision. Remember that the ultimate goal is to increase student achievement and teacher effectiveness.

Let's put it all together. You may want to pause here. To summarize, this is what our completed template would look like. It's a solid plan with a lot of opportunity for teachers to engage in learning with one another and put those competencies to use immediately.

And now for today's food for thought. Find out if your district or State Department of Education has a professional development planning template. And to dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information, check out the additional resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material.

As always, thanks so much for watching. And we'll see you next time.

Notes on "Creating Professional Development Training"

(00:00-00:22) Intro

(00:23-01:05) The Standards

(01:06-01:16) Blank Template

(01:17-01:55) Step 1

(01:56-02:57) Step 2

(02:58-03:37) Step 3

(03:38-03:59) Step 4

(04:00-04:35) Step 5

(04:36-05:09) Step 6

(05:10-05:30 Step 7

(05:31-06:15) Completed Template/Summary/Food For Thought

Additional Resources

Teacher Development Research Review: Evidence-Based Practices and Programs

This Edutopia article provides research-based resources and suggestions for developing teacher professional learning programs.

Teaching the Teachers: Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability

This report connects learning theories (such as Bandura's social learning theory) to best practices in teacher professional development. The report is broken down into strategies that can be easily translated into practice.