Professional Learning

At this year’s NJEA Convention, I attended several workshops on educational leadership and a few things jumped out at me that I thought might be good talking points and spark some healthy discussion.  One of them happened to be on professional learning.

In a presentation by representatives of the professional learning association, Learning Forward New Jersey, (, one of the topics brought up had to do with standards for professional learning as per new Jersey administrative code 6A:9C-3.3.  This code reads, (in part), the following:

Standards for professional learning (a) Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and improves results for all students shall be guided by the following standards:

  1. Learning communities: Occurs within learning communities committed to continuous improvement, collective responsibility, and goal alignment;
  2. Leadership: Requires skillful leaders who develop capacity, advocate, and create support systems for professional learning;
  3. Resources: Requires prioritizing, monitoring, and coordinating resources for educator learning;
  4. Data: Uses a variety of sources and types of student, educator, and system data to plan, assess, and evaluate professional learning;
  5. Learning designs: Integrates theories, research, and models of human learning to achieve its intended outcomes;
  6. Implementation: applies research on change and sustains support for implementation of professional learning for long-term change;
  7. Outcomes: Aligns its outcomes with educator performance and student curriculum standards.

How do each of these standards listed above play a crucial role in professional learning communities in your schools?  Are some of these standards not evident?  How, as an educational leader, would you go about fixing that in a school that was lacking one or more of the standards?