6 Replies Latest reply on May 26, 2015 3:22 PM by NaomiHarm

    Breaking Free From A Culture of Dependency With Professional Development Trainings


      Icon-round-Question_mark.jpgHow are you breaking free from a culture of dependency when it comes to "hand holding" some teachers with Professional Development training's, and instead empower educators and lead with a focus on a centered- leadership, as a challenged based teaching and learning model for staff in-services?


      I pose this question as there are still a lot of teachers needing/wanting/demanding the "cookie cutter approach" or "hand holding" or "spoon feeding" when it comes to professional development training. They want you to show them but also want you to do it for them when it comes to learning something new. The self-directed and self-motivated teacher is lacking in our educational system, but how can we change this teaching and learning scenario?


      I have come to realize the importance of modeling many new types of new learning through varied and active learning strategies in my training's. My continued focus will be to jump

      group_meeting_pc_400_clr_3625.pngstart most of my F2F training's with a game-infuse learning challenge and throughout the day of training- as a collaborative team setting. Setting up educators in "dynamic duo's or transformation trio's"  collaborative groups, is necessary so all learners can experience a safe game-infuse challenge, and work on the challenge in a team setting. When given a challenge singally, many teachers may struggle to solve the challenge or feel they are falling behind by the competitiveness from other teachers. We do not want teachers feeling isolated as a single "lone ranger" to be left out in the dark and give up on the challenge on their own, when in all actually they need to be social and to interact, and actively listen from one another to showcase how creative they truly area. This modeled strategy of creating collaborative groups as "dynamic duo's or transformative trio's" allows for me as the facilitator to now rotate through to meet with each group individually, to actively listening to their problem solving and reasoning skills, to document accountability from each team member, and to interject only where necessary more critical thinking questions to have teams think more deeply about the topic. That's when the real learning takes place, and I as a facilitator am now their guide - to reinsure I am still there within reach, but letting the teams dig into active learning through discovery from their peers.


      To ensure each team member is pulling their weight, I also assign student job task cards to each participant to be accountable for their individual effort to contribute to team success of the learning process. I have attached the student job task cards with their assigned tasks, and I have created below for you to use. You can print off the student job task cards, and cut out and place in a badge holder attached to a lanyard. This visual badge allows for me as the instructor to see who is doing what in each group when I do my MWA's - "Mobile Walk Around's" and this is key for me as the instructor for documentation of accountability for each individual learner in the group.



      Now Blanca has started a marvelous thread on  What are some Current Models of Professional Development? Her thread really ties in nicely to compliment this new discussion to extend your learning, so please add your ideas to not only this post but her's as well.


      So in conclusion, how are you going to model, implement and empower educators or students with a "centered- leadership, challenged based teaching and learning model for your next staff in-service or student led activity? Can't wait to hear your ideas.

        • Re: Breaking Free From A Culture of Dependency With Professional Development Trainings

          NaomiHarm poses a valid and pressing question. We teachers frequently speak about how to model and instill intrinsic motivation in our students. Perhaps some of the same ideas coming from principals and other teacher leaders could be used with teachers.


          I'm going to suggest that leaders try to "gamify" the teaching. Unfortunately, standards-based teaching has led to less inspired teaching in my experience. (Of course, this is not across the board, but for a variety of reasons, teachers feel that they are being told not to use innovative methods, even while being given a conflicting message through wonderful PD. They don't see how to implement innovative methods (often involving technology) and still meet their principals' requirements. With some sort of reward accruing thorough the implementation of a new initiative, teachers might be encouraged to try the new method or teaching style.


          What do others think?



          • Re: Breaking Free From A Culture of Dependency With Professional Development Trainings

            Great conversation and I am looking forward to see what others like vkajones, heatherlogicwing and others that support PD have to say. 


            What about creating a group in Engage to share PD resources?  Then by exploring the larger community educators can see first hand how gamification can encourage you to explore, learn and interact with global members while working within their group from their school or district.  Are there other Professional Learning communities that you use that make use of gaming like engage?

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            • Re: Breaking Free From A Culture of Dependency With Professional Development Trainings

              Great conversation.  To try to address the different learning styles of teachers, I always try to incorporate a variety of professional development models. The weird part is that our school board and our professional development department are trying to encourage online learning are other modalities other than the traditional face to face PD in my district,  but teachers are convinced that they need face to face training. Not only do they want (from an overwhelming majority on a survey that was conducted) face to face PD, they also want intense hand holding. From the survey, they said they learned better if someone walked them through the steps of learning a program or creating a product.


              julesfischy About seven years ago, I started TechnoScientists, a PLC to allow teacher to extend their learning in an online learning environment as well as a way for them to share ideas with each other as well as learn from the experiences of other teachers. As a member of this Engage Group, teachers were able to share projects, products, have discussions and encourage each other to try new and challenging experiences not only with themselves, but with their students.


              The first year in TechnoScientists, I provide all of the PD in an online learning environment, then the following years, the leaders in the group took on a more active/mentor role and started providing each other with new learning experiences and


              I love the Task Cards NaomiHarm  I will give them a try. All of my PD puts teachers in the situations to look at learning and experience the learning process from the lens of the student. Most of the time everything is Task oriented, I try to provide them with directions and activities as if  I was giving the assignment to students.  I think the Task Cards, will allow teachers to take a more active role in their learning.

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              • Re: Breaking Free From A Culture of Dependency With Professional Development Trainings

                Another great resources I use with ensuring all participants are participating is the resource from ASCD called: Total Participation Techniques the online resource portals provides you many tips and tricks that are even low end tech- because the focus is on communication and collaboration with all students and to maximize face time together. Any other great resources of low end to high tech techniques to get students or adult learners active in participation?