THE PRACTICE: Professional development should provide learning opportunities that relate to individual needs but are, for the most part, organized around collaborative problem solving.
Content Presented By:
National Partnership for Excellence & Accountability in Teaching
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Resources related to this practice:
Action Research Update: Constructing Knowledge
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Article in UFT's Special Edition, Volume 14 about Constructing Knowledge: Building Communities of Learners through Job-Embedded Professional Development (CK), an action research project conducted during the 2000-2001 school year by the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Lab at Brown University (LAB). Action research was the vehicle used to engage participants in a quest to develop habits of mind for collaboration and inquiry. The goals were to build growing communities of learners to work with local evidence and ultimately to alter their practices based on findings resulting from their inquiry. Article includes outline of project design and case studies for several sites.
Creating Clusters: Study Groups for Professional Learning
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Article in UFT's Special Edition, Volume 14 about study groupwss as primary vehicles for professional development in the Teacher Center at Theodore Roosevelt High School. the Bronx, NY. specific examples given about what they do.
Peer-Assisted Leadership (PAL) Program
Non-judgmental, inquiry-based approach to leadership development in which
principals form partnerships to help each other reflect on their practice. PAL
partners work together over a period of 4 to 8 months, shadowing and
interviewing each other to collect data and analyze their leadership activities
in context. Participants also meet regularly as a group, learning and practicing
various inquiry skills (e.g., shadowing, interviewing, theme identification), as
well as sharing and processing their partnership experiences. These
meetings, together with the partnerships, provide a supportive forum for
professional dialog that reduces isolation, deepens understanding, and
Using Case Studies to Inform Professional Development
Describes the Mathematics Case Methods project that references a collection
of cases for use by primary teachers and another for classroom discussion by
students with teachers serving as facilitators. The cases portray real-life
teaching dilemmas that build teacher capacity through the careful process of
reflection and inquiry generated by facilitated discussions with other teachers.
They assist teachers in developing deep pedagogical content knowledge, the
ability to see the subject through the eyes of the student, and to know what instructional experiences can be used to capitalize on that child's thinking.
Whether cases are content specific or deal with broader teaching issues, case
discussants examine different approaches to teaching and learning,
considering the benefits and drawbacks of each.
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