Designing Professional Development

Ideas To Consider:



Curriculum Design as Learning

  • Consider using a studio approach or writers workshop approach.
    • Resources:
      • John Seely Brown (studio approach)
      • Lucy Calkins (writers workshop approach)
    • Teachers design curriculum in pairs or threes
    • Working drafts are publicly available so that
      • Teachers critique each others projects and methods
      • Facilitators critique projects and methods
  • All teachers can benefit from their colleagues effort
  • Use tools like Prensky Scale, TPaCK, or SAMR

Eat Your Own Dog Food

  • Teachers use the same tools as their students, though for professional purposes.
  • PD planners use the same methods they are hoping the teachers will use in their classroom.

Learning Communities

  • Consider using cross-building, cross-district, or wider groups

  • free of grade-level, building or district patterns/expectations
  • breaks down silos
  • collect the best practices from all teachers/buildings

Model Teaching & Co-Teaching

Multi Year (Ongoing)

  • Design PD so that the teachers continue to refine their work over several meetings and years.
  • Thoughtful change takes time - you want to develop curriculum connoisseurs.
  • Teachers less likely to return to their previous comfort zone
  • Allows time to build in scaffolding that fits teachers ZPD, but still get them to an independent stage (hopefully their idea of independent will change too)

Teacher As Student

  • Give teachers time to complete projects following the same methods as the students.
  • Give teachers time to design example projects. Better yet, give them time to design two, one that they would consider exemplary and one that isn't. They can use the second as a way to discuss what is missing/different.
  • We all think we understand things without actually doing them. Until you have actually completed the same or very similar project, you really don't understand what students are doing and learning. (Or how long they really take.)