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, (http://www.learningforwardnewjersey.org), 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?

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