Tools for Learning Schools
Continued from p. 2
cost savings to the school and an entry point to strengthen the relationshipbetween the school and the o
ce of professional learning.”For the coming school year, Leal will continue to support implement-ing the standards through workshopsand courses, site visits, and on-sitemeetings at each school to walk teacher leaders and administratorsthrough the various resources availableto support the school’s job-embeddedprofessional development.“Our journey of moving towardprofessional learning and bringing the standards to life is a collaborationbetween us, the union, our teachercenter, and other various groups within the district,” said Leal. “Wehave used focus groups and an advi-sory committee to talk through a lotof the things that are happening as wealign practices. It has been a wonderfulexperience, and we have all learned a great deal from one another.
e mostpowerful lesson learned was that weall want and strive for the same thing — high-quality professional learning across the system.”“People ask me, ‘I’m just a teach-er, or coach, or curriculum person, what can I do?’” said Kennedy. “I tellthem to start using the standards withtheir own department or in their own work, which is a great opportunity toshare the standards with more people.
is kind of organic growth is how itall starts,” said Kennedy.
Easton, L.B. (Ed.). (2008).
Powerful designs for professional learning
(2nd ed.). Oxford, OH: NSDC.
Killion, J. & Roy, P. (2009).
Becoming a learning school.
Anthony Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org)is publications editor for Learning Forward.
5 steps to help others seethe standards in practice
hen the new standards were intro
a free downloadable facilitator’s guide thato
ers activities and tools to help introduce anddeepen understanding of the newly revised
Below are some activities taken from Unit6 of the guide that help others understandwhat the standards look like in practice. Usethe
ve activities below, and their accompany
others make the connections between thestandards and their everyday practice.
1. Become familiar with how the stan-dards are interconnected.
Each individual standard cannot ful
ll itspurpose without the other standards. To helpothers understand these relationships, reviewthe sample questions on the tool on p. 4,Connecting the standards. Discuss how deci
sions about each standard relate to the otherstandards.“The example questions are about learn
ing designs,” said Kennedy. “They consider howlearning designs a
ect each other standard.
munities connect to the data they use.”
2. Create questions of connectedness.
Use the tool on p. 5, How my standardconnects, to have participants create their ownquestions that demonstrate connectednessamong the standards.“Ask deconstructing questions,” suggestsKennedy. “Such as what exactly do we mean,how do we do it, who is involved, what doesthis look like, how do we build capacity, etc.”
3. Review implications for when elementsof a standard are missing.
Use the tool on p. 6, Managing changesin practice, to help learners understand whathappens when one of the standards isn’timplemented. Each row contains a missingstandard, and the
nal column of the rightnames the implications of not having thatstandard in place in a system. Explain how thestandards are interdependent and an individu
al standard cannot succeed on its own.
4. Have participants identify elementsmissing in their own work.
Once others understand the implicationsof neglecting a standard, have participantsre
ect upon their own work and identify whichstandards are missing or weak and possiblesolutions. Reading down the right side of thechart may help participants identify whichstandards are missing in their school or system.“The idea is to help participants have
is missing, the chart indicates that there is alack of support. So the conversation is ‘yes, weagree, and this is how we might address the
ship standard and what actions or solutionswould be most helpful.”
5. Identify driving and restraining forcesand how to increase or decrease.
Participants then partner with others to
practice, to examine the various driving andrestraining forces and how to increase ordecrease them.“This exercise helps participants recognizethe two forces at work and to start thinking
driving forces might be a new superintendentwho is forward thinking, or the new implemen
tation of Common Core,” said Kennedy. “Whilerestraining forces could be budget cuts andlayo
For more details about these and other guided activities and presentations to help introduce thestandards to others, download the
FacilitatorGuide for the Standards for ProfessionalLearning
www.learningforward.org/standards/facilitator-guide.Adapted from: Learning Forward. (2012).
Facilitator guide: Standards for Professional Learning.
Oxford, OH: Author.