Learning Froward BC -Sue Elliott’s President’s Message, September 2012
As I consider the mission of Learning Forward BC –
to provide opportunities for all educators to engage in quality professional learning that focuses on improving student engagement, learning and achievement in the province of British Columbia,–
I find myself reflecting on the core purpose of education – student learning.
Recently I had the opportunity to sit and listen to children and youth in various contexts talk about their favorite classes and chat about returning to school. They were very clear on what worked and what did not work. What stood out for me was the importance of how a teacher related to them, how a teacher was passionate about their subject, and how the teacher engaged the students in a meaningful and relevant way. These student conversations reinforced the fact that inspired teaching inspires learning.
It was therefore timely to read a new report presented by the Canadian Education Association and the Canadian Teachers Federation – Teaching the Way We Aspire to Teach: Now and in the Future. Given the global context of learning, I believe that the core elements regarding support for Aspirational Teaching that are surfaced in the report: time for support and collaboration, profession development, leadership, and resources, in addition the teacher and educator attributes of caring, passion, knowing students, to name a few, are essential to be addressed if we are to maintain the strengths of our Canadian education system.
Many of the issues that surfaced in the report reinforce the value of Learning Forward’s Standards for Professional Learning. In the new version ( 2011) the seven new standards focus attention on educator learning that relates to successful student learning:
- Learning Communities
- Learning Designs
These standards serve as indicators that guides the learning, facilitation, implementation and evaluation of quality professional learning.
Some summary thoughts
To link student learning with professional learning it is essential that educators have the leadership skills required to work with data in order to decide on what is required to support student learning. I believe that the quality of the learning community that educators work within is commensurate with the outcome of their endeavors.
Research can lead the adult learning only if the actions of the adults in our system have the informed and relevant research, support to provide the needed intervention in context combined with strong sense of personalization for each learner.
As a non profit organization, whose members represent varied roles and jurisdictions, Learning Forward BC is committed to providing quality professional learning opportunities. We look forward to connecting with you in order to enhance our network of educators who focus on quality professional learning.
We are striving to collect and share stories that demonstrate the impact of quality profession learning that leads to improved student learning.
Do you have a success story you can share?
Tell us about your successful experiences in the comment box below.