Blogs on Professional Development

Blogs on Professional DevelopmentRSS
Brandon WileyMarch 27, 2013

Much has been made in the media and press about the Finnish education system. Our goal this week is to uncover the beliefs and practices that contribute to a successful education system here. To help us delve into this topic, we spent time visiting the University of Helsinki, a leading teacher education institution in Finland. Dr. Jari Lavonen shared the history of the Finnish education system and several key characteristics of their approach. Lavonen called our attention to these four characteristics:

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Anne OBrienMarch 26, 2013

We all know that leadership is important in education. Without strong leadership, education initiatives tend to crash and burn. Consider professional learning. Leadership is one of Learning Forward's seven Standards for Professional Learning -- evidence-based standards that outline the characteristics of professional learning that lead to effective teaching practices and improved student learning.

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Elana LeoniMarch 21, 2013

(Updated 10/2013)

At this year's ASCD conference one of the main themes that kept surfacing was the need for more "connected educators." At this conference, there were definitely some great "firsts." The general session kicked off with a keynote from Freeman A. Hrabowski III, who tweeted his first tweet; an impromptu #edcampRogue sprouted up from in-attendance edcampers; and author and poet Maya Angelou was even tweeting at age 85!

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Sammamish High School is a comprehensive high school that is on the cutting edge of public education. Like many schools, we serve a diverse student body, with 45% of our students receiving free and reduced lunch support. We also serve a high percentage of special education students relative to other district schools, and currently house the district-wide program for beginning and intermediate English language learners. We have had good success with college matriculation rates, but as a community, we saw an opportunity to better serve our students and foster in them the skills and habits of mind that will make them competitive in the new economy. Along the way, we are challenging ourselves to re-imagine how school can better serve students through collaboration, authentic problem solving, and opening windows between the disciplines of school and the broader community.

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Bob LenzMarch 19, 2013

Recently, I listened to a story on NPR's All Things Considered called "'Serendipitous Interaction' Key To Tech Firms' Workplace Design" that highlighted the cultures of innovation and creativity at Google and Facebook. The leaders of these organizations intentionally create opportunities for collaboration, learning and fun because they believe it will lead to the creation of better products and services.

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Adam ProvostFebruary 6, 2013

I pulled up a chair next to a woman at the EduCon conference at the Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Philadelphia this last Saturday. After some brief introductions I learned her heavy Southern accent hailed from Arkansas, that she was shocked by how cold it was, and that it was her first time attending the conference. I asked her how she liked EduCon so far. "I love it," she said. "It's not your typical 'sit and git' type conference."

That's a great summary, indeed.

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Mark PhillipsJanuary 31, 2013

Every once in awhile I visit a school that reminds me of what public education can be at its best, a place where I'd like to be, as a child or a teacher, a place that elicits the best in me as an educator. And so it was with my recent introduction to the world of the Mission Hill School, a Boston area public pilot school, as captured by the filmmaking team of Tom and Amy Valens.

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Judy Willis MDJanuary 30, 2013

My August blog -- which included responses from experienced teachers about what they wish they’d known as beginners -- focused on students' emotions and classroom community. Now that we are several months into the school year, I offer their advice about goals, resources and cautions.

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William TolleyJanuary 30, 2013

"Every day is a workshop." -- Will Richardson

Innovate 2013, hosted by Graded School in São Paulo, ended last Sunday, and now hundreds of freshly-charged innovators are heading back to their schools from as close as Sampa itself to as far away as Mumbai. Reactions to the conference were overwhelmingly positive and the sessions I attended were first class.

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