Working Together: Honouring Varied Contexts for Professional Learning
“Worse than being blind is to see and have no vision.” Helen Keller
Learning Forward BC’s connection to our education partners, and the knowledge and the varied experiences they have in the education system, is highly valued.
In January we engaged representatives of partners in our education community in conversations to explore the changing pace and face of professional learning, and to garner support for the Learning Forward Conference 2016, to be held in Vancouver. I was struck by the fact that all of us are involved in professional learning within our respective contexts. Our varied perspectives enrich our education community.
Educators have a clear mandate to enhance student learning. Over the past months members of our board has been seeking examples of effective collaborative professional learning that transform practice. WHY do some educators still experience a lack of structure and focus for professional learning that leads to seeking ways to improve student learning? How might we enhance effective professional learning experiences so that they are not ‘hit and miss?’
Helen Keller’s comment speaks to the importance of having a clear vision for our practice, and steps to achieve the vision. What is YOUR vision for effective and engaging professional learning? The Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning , outline essential elements that are foundational to all professional learning endeavors.
Suzanne Bailey comments that the vision has to be tied to regular dialogue and review, and mechanisms to make it live and breathe. She states that leaders need to build mechanisms to evaluate their progress. Tracking results of our events or learning, documenting what we learn and how our practice has impacted our work and student learning, with evidence to share, is a simple and effective way to demonstrate results.
All involved in education are invited to engage in thoughtful reflection and to be engaged in our professional learning network as we seek, and share, stories of success. Please check our website http://learningforwardbc.ca for ideas and events. The April 3 network session holds the promise of an exciting conversation through Inquiring into Collaborative Learning Cultures.