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1 Our Current Best Thinking About… Professional Learning Cathy Bruce Shelley

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1 1 Our Current Best Thinking About… Professional Learning Cathy Bruce Shelley

2 Powerful Professional Learning Think about… a professional learning experience that has been particularly important in supporting improved practice for you. Make a quick note about what it was and why it was so powerful. Keep this in mind through the session 2

3 The Compelling Why Most reforms stop short at the classroom door; all available evidence suggests that classroom practice has changed little in the past 100 years. Lewis, Perry & Hurd, 2004 A Deeper Look at Lesson Study Educational Leadership

4 The Compelling Why Webster-Wright’s 2009 review of over 200 studies on PD and PL found that “professionals learn from experience and that learning is ongoing through active engagement in practice” (p. 723). However, the vast majority of educational PD programs have separated the learning opportunities from natural contexts and from practice. Assumptions: 1. teachers need fixing up; 2. learning out of context will be translated to classroom with ease; 3. others know best what teachers need.

5 Five Characteristics of Effective Professional Learning The following five characteristics should be considered by anyone charged with, or seeking to provide professional learning experiences for Ontario’s teachers i) Coherence ii) Attention to Adult Learning Styles iii) Goal-orientation iv) Sustainable v) Evidence-informed Recommendations to the Partnership Table on Teacher Professional Learning (2007)

6 Characteristics of Effective Professional Learning Across multiple studies, there is clear evidence that sustained, iterative, teacher-directed and collaborative models of professional learning support significant gains in teacher efficacy. Dr. Cathy Bruce, Science & Technology Education Group (2012) Bruce, Esmonde, Ross, Gookey, Beatty, 2010


8 So Let’s Analyse Math CAMPPP Consider the key characteristics of professional learning: Where is Camppp stronger? Where is Camppp weaker? - Teacher-directed - Research/evidence- supported - Sustained - Classroom embedded - Goal alignment - Content rich

9 So Let’s Analyse Math CAMPPP What has Math CAMPPP done to try to overcome some of the challenges of a week-long PD experience in summer months? Collaborative Teacher-directed Research-supported Sustained Classroom embedded Goal alignment Content rich Rate on a scale of 1 to 5

10 Math Knowledge For Teaching 10

11 Impact of MKT

12 Developing MKT


14 Some Professional Learning Models Workshops Webinars/on-line studies Lesson Study Co-planning, co- teaching, de-briefing Inquiry Transition PLCs Demonstration classrooms Coaching Collaborative Assessment/Resource Development Collaborative Action Research Conferences 14

15 Characteristics of Teacher Inquiry Relevant Collaborative Reflective Iterative Reasoned Adaptive Reciprocal (Capacity building series, 2010) Should we consider adding: Teacher directed (teacher as agent and decision maker) Activist oriented (practice implications) Any other key characteristics? (to think about)

16 How Do These Fit Together? The Broad Context of Education Inquiry (origins as old as humankind) Educational Research (since University of Chicago Laboratory School, around 1900) Action Research (origins in social activism 1930’s) Collaborative Action Research (past 20 yrs) Co-planning & co-teaching Teacher and classroom Inquiry Book study/ Video study Giant bird’s nest on drugs

17 Collaborative Action Research 17 The process of action research allows educators to: reflect on an issue or a problem relevant to their teaching; to determine what research question(s) they are trying to answer; to implement an intervention designed to address the problem; to collect and analyse data to determine if their intervention is having an effect, and; to implement changes in their practice based on their findings.

18 Models: Looks like / Doesn’t look like Not sure what you are thinking here


20 Teacher Impact 20

21 Avoiding Pitfalls Of Professional Learning Myth: no budget for release time = no pd Myth: no planning needed just show up (carefully plan content, strategies, dynamics and trajectories) Myth: drop in-between meeting/session activity Myth: PLC is separate from CIL-M “doing CIL-M” from Inquiry Myth: Growing quickly will work Who is a knowledgeable other? How do they facilitate? A coach is a coach (no special training, and don’t need support themselves)


23 What opportunities can you create for… slowing it down? sustaining focus on a precise content piece? building purposeful professional learning networks with researchers? supporting teachers as co-learners? 23

24 Why High Quality Math PL Is Important? Agency (empowerment, ownership and constructive urgency) Content learning (close attention to student work, listening and noticing) Sustainability (will and capacity to continue) Teacher efficacy

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