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Designing and Implementing Effective Professional Learning

Designing and Implementing Effective Professional Learning

First Edition

February 2018 | 252 pages | SAGE AdvantEDGE

For sustained success, educators must commit to their own lifelong improvement.

Commitment to high-quality professional learning is a common aspect of educational systems of the the world’s highest-achieving nations. Despite evidence that effective professional learning can be a powerful lever for school improvement, much of the professional development (PD) that is conducted in the United States has had limited impact on teacher practice...

In these pages, John Murray identifies research-based characteristics of effective teacher professional learning, detailing eight strategies for planning and executing professional development programs and evaluating their results. Content includes:

  • The proven “backward” approach to articulating the goals of your PD program
  • Descriptions of innovative and effective designs for professional learning such as Lesson Study and Instructional Rounds  
  • Powerful approaches to designing and implementing  online PD

Packed with templates that make getting started easy, this all-in-one resource will facilitate deep professional learning that truly enhances student achievement.

“This book is one that any teacher or administrator who is involved with leading professional learning and continuous improvement—new to the field or with great experience—would find great value in.”
— Jeff Ronneberg, Superintendent
Spring Lake Park Schools, MN

“This is a critical resource that should be on every education leader’s bookshelf. You will be challenged to find another book with so much helpful information on so many important professional development strategies that you can get started on immediately to facilitate real change in your school.”
— John D. Ross, Educational Consultant
Pulaski, VA

1. The Need for Change
Traditional Approaches to Teacher Professional Learning
New Demands Require Change
2. Effective Teacher Professional Learning
Theoretical Models of Professional Development Action
Characteristics of Effective Professional Development
3. Context: Building an Atmosphere to Support Teacher Learning
Learning Communities
4. Content: Specifying the Goals of Professional Learning Activities
Identifying Goals
Evaluating Your Professional Development Program
5. Process: Selecting Specific Activities and Strategies
Learning Designs
6. Lesson Study
A Cycle of Instructional Improvement
The Lesson Study Philosophy
Lesson Study Steps
The Essential Elements of Lesson Study
Challenges to Engaging in Lesson Study: Misconceptions to Avoid
7. Critical Friends
The Origins of Critical Friends
The Philosophy of CFGs
Critical Friends Steps
The Essential Elements of Critical Friends
Benefits of CFGs
8. School Rounds
A Lesson From Medicine
The Rationale for School Rounds
The Steps in School Rounds
Learning With Rounds Summary
9. Action Research
A Hands-On Approach
Why Choose Action Research?
The Action Research Process
Benefits of Action Research
10. Mentoring
The Power of Relationships
Why Mentoring Matters
Essential Steps in Building a Mentoring Program
The Work of Mentoring
The Role of the Principal
Essential Elements
11. Peer Coaching
Harnessing Peer-to-Peer Wisdom
The Rationale for Peer Coaching
Essential Steps of the Peer Coaching Process
Essential Elements
12. Online Professional Development
The Rationale for Online Professional Development
A Framework for Implementing Online Professional Development
Monitoring and Evaluating Online Professional Development
13. Personal Learning Networks
Going Global
The Power of PLNs
The Process of Creating and Cultivating PLNs
Getting Started
Using Tools to Connect: Early PLN Formation
Advanced PLN Formation: What Does It Look Like?
The Challenges of PLNs
14.The Challenges of Introducing New Forms of Teacher Professional Learning
How Have Teachers Experienced Past Professional Development?
Are Teacher Needs and Preferences Being Considered?
Are Teachers Treated With Respect?
Are Teachers Being Asked to Collaborate, Think, and Innovate?
Do School Leaders Make the New Strategies Easy to Implement?
Are Professional Development Activities Linked to a Compelling Purpose?
Breaking Down Barriers
15. A Call to Action

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John M. Murray

John Murray is an educational consultant and presenter on effective teacher learning practices in American schools.  He has also been a classroom teacher, science department head, high school principal, and university instructor in his over 20 years as an educator. His previous book was titled Effective Teacher Learning Practices in U.S. Independent Schools, and he has published over a dozen articles on effective teacher professional learning. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Auburn University, an M.A. in Private School Administration from Teacher’s College at Columbia University, and both an M.Ed. and B.A. from the... More About Author


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ISBN: 9789352806058