Source: Globe, Clker, http://bit.ly/1CVSonk; Thinking Person, Clker, http://bit.ly/1EmDSQV; Board, MorgueFile, http://mrg.bz/MbWjFQ; Thinking Man, Pixabay, http://bit.ly/1IRTL98; Meeting Table, Pixabay, http://bit.ly/1HncJlH
Hello there once again and welcome. Congratulations on completing the series of lessons all about how to apply adult learning theories and best practice into professional development planning. We covered a great deal in this unit, including evaluating existing professional developments, implementing, delivering, and reflecting on plans. Let's take a few moments to review some of the key elements found in the learning objectives.
A practice outlined and revisited multiple times throughout this unit was how to evaluate professional development plans using Knowles' six principles or assumption of adult learning theory that are listed here. Knowles' theory is predicated on the fact that adults learn differently than children do. For instance, an adult learners self concept allows us to self direct our learning and make choices. Whether we want to learn how to install a new sink by watching a YouTube video or become an administrator by signing up for a postgraduate program.
Another principle to look for when evaluating PDs is experience and how your learning plan utilizes what participants bring to the table with them. I once attended a workshop on using iPads in education. And the instructor did a wonderful job of finding out what level the participants were at and adjusted his delivery accordingly. Unfortunately, I've also been in situations where the presenter did not do that and it could be a painful experience.
We also covered the notion that as a person matures the motivation to learn is internal. This is extremely important to know when working with adult learners. Teachers are not likely to get much out of a session on technology if they don't see the need in it. Knowing what motivates your learner is important information to have. It's an extreme example but my 83-year-old mother is much more motivated to learn how to knit a new pattern then she is to learn how to use Google Docs.
We also looked at the many factors to consider when implementing and delivering a survey on professional development wants and needs to the adult learners that you're targeting. Remember to start with the end in mind when developing a survey. In other words, know what it is that you want to find out. If a restaurant wants to improve its service there shouldn't be questions about the decor. Likewise, if your school wants to improve writing scores don't ask about playground equipment.
Speaking of questions, you learn two types, structured and unstructured. And some of the most effective digital tools to deliver them. Like SurveyMonkey, or Google Forms, and Poll Everywhere. Which by the way, is also a great tool for getting a sense of the room when meeting or presenting.
In a culture of continuous improvement the revision process should be a fairly routine one. And that includes changing your current professional development plan based upon the results and analysis of your survey data. We know however not to make these changes alone. Work collaboratively and be transparent, much like we ask our elected officials to be.
Many programs and initiatives fail because of poor culture and attitudes. Avoid this by making room for everyone's voice to be heard. People don't like to be left in the dark when decisions that impact them are being made. Teachers are no different. We also explain that when the time comes to share your survey results with administrators, stakeholders, and the public that it's important to allow time for discussion.
Finally, the one word that kept coming up again and again, reflection. When you've done all this work to develop, deliver, and implement a plan, do your efforts justice by reflecting on the impact they all had on teacher growth and development. Reflection should never be taken for granted as it can lead to new ideas and new ways of thinking. Build it into your daily schedule whether as a parent, a colleague, a friend, or a teacher.
Ask yourself what works well, what doesn't, and what you can do to improve it. As I hope you recognize throughout this unit that this entire process is about improving teacher effectiveness. And as a result student achievement.
So we've come to the end. Well done and congratulations. What I hope you take from this learning experience is that it's important to recognize the unique traits of adult learners as you evaluate professional development plans. Also a better understanding of the steps involved to gather information from adult learners about what they want and need for professional development opportunities. And finally, to always leave time for meaningful reflection.
Here's today's food for thought. Whether you're a teacher or administrator you now have the tools you need to find out what your colleagues want and need for their growth. So join a professional development planning committee and go do it. Thanks so much for being a part of this. I hope you enjoyed it. We'll see you next time.
(00:27-01:52) Evaluation and Development
(01:53-02:35) Implementation and Delivery
(04:00-04:45) Food For Thought/Summary