The #1 Element of Effective Teacher Professional Development

What is distributed professional development

It takes more than one-and-done professional development to make a true impact.

The goal of all effective teacher professional development is for educators to acquire new knowledge and skills, and most importantly, translate their new knowledge and skills into classroom practice. Clearly, without classroom implementation, there is no impact on student learning. Unfortunately, professional development is often provided as a one time experience with unreasonable expectations that teachers should be able to immediately implement what they have learned with quality. Exemplary professional development, however, distributes the learning over time to allow teachers to continuously strengthen and refine their professional skills.

effective teacher professional development cycle

3 Stages of Effective Teacher PD

Learning-Focused is an exemplary professional development model that utilizes a distributed approach to professional learning. The Learning-Focused Instructional Framework is learned in 3 stages:
1. The first stage is learning the basic framework – The High Performance Learning-Focused Lessons. It is the foundation for the framework where you will learn how to plan and use a standards driven, backward planning Learning-Focused lesson.
2. In stage 2 (Increasing the Rigor of Learning-Focused Lessons: Higher Order Thinking, Reading and Writing) and
3. Stage 3 (Accelerating Learning-Focused Lessons: Catching Kids Up) you will extend your knowledge and skills of the framework.
Depending on your goals, there may be additional stages as well.

During each stage of The Learning-Focused Instructional Framework you will participate in:

  1. An introductory workshop to learn the overall structure, key concepts, and how the concepts connect in the instructional framework
  2. A sequence of online MicroPD sessions that deepen understanding of the lesson structure and associated practices and strategies
  3. Support meetings in which you will develop action plans, collaboratively plan, reflect on classroom practice, share ideas and hold each other accountable for implementing what you are learning.

This model of professional learning provides opportunities and time to deepen your understanding and hone your skills. It prevents you from becoming overwhelmed initially, allows for multiple exposures to key concepts, provides support during implementation, and taps on the power of collaboration and reflection to support and sustain change.


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Don Marlett

Don Marlett

Don has been an educator for 20 years. Before joining Learning-Focused, he spent 6 years as a classroom teacher and 4 years in school administration. Don leads product development, provides leadership training, and coaches educators in the implementation of the Learning-Focused Instructional Framework.

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