For sustained success, educators must commit to their own lifelong improvement.
Commitment to high-quality professional learning is a common aspect of educational systems of the the world's highest-achieving nations. Despite evidence that effective professional learning can be a powerful lever for school improvement, much of the professional development (PD) that is conducted in the United States has had limited impact on teacher practice…
In these pages, John Murray identifies research-based characteristics of effective teacher professional learning, detailing eight strategies for planning and executing professional development programs and evaluating their results. Content includes: The proven “backward” approach to articulating the goals of your PD program; Descriptions of innovative and effective designs for professional learning such as Lesson Study and Instructional Rounds; Powerful approaches to designing and implementing online PD
Packed with templates that make getting started easy, this all-in-one resource will facilitate deep professional learning that truly enhances student achievement.
“This book is one that any teacher or administrator who is involved with leading professional learning and continuous improvement—new to the field or with great experience—would find great value in.”
— Jeff Ronneberg, Superintendent
Spring Lake Park Schools, MN
“This is a critical resource that should be on every education leader's bookshelf. You will be challenged to find another book with so much helpful information on so many important professional development strategies that you can get started on immediately to facilitate real change in your school.”
— John D. Ross, Educational Consultant
Chapter 7: Critical Friends
Participating in a Critical Friends Group helps educators improve their teaching by studying together and giving and receiving feedback on day-to-day practices.
For several years Pamela, a social studies teacher, has met after school one or two times each month with seven middle school colleagues. The teachers come from different grades and disciplines—two English teachers, one art teacher, one science teacher, two math teachers, and another social studies teacher. Pamela remembers being skeptical that the new Critical Friends strategy they were trying would be any better than the usual professional development speakers and workshops, and she wondered how social studies and math teachers could possibly work together professionally in a meaningful way. Now, after two years of collaborating, she appreciates how all ...