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The Keys to Literacy Blog

Ensure Professional Development Success

by Brad Neuenhaus | 1 | 0 Comments

Since Keys to Literacy was founded in 2007 we have delivered content literacy professional development to thousands of districts and schools. As a result, we have participated in many professional development initiatives that have been a resounding success, and on the other hand we have witnessed too many initiatives that fell far short of expectations.

For us, professional development success means sustained and deep changes to instructional practice, student literacy skills development and improvements in student achievement. From our experience there are a number of constants that determine professional development success. We have found a strong planning framework, combined with a structured implementation process are the foundation of professional development success.

To hone our implementation frameworks and tools, I regularly search for resources that support highly effective PD planning. Learning Forward, the Professional Development Association is a trusted source for information, resources and planning tools. Their workbook, Professional Learning Plans: A Workbook for States, District and Schools offers excellent guidance, process steps and tools for effective planning and implementation.

Learning Forward describes the workbook as:

“Professional learning plans establish short- and long-term guidance for professional learning and its implementation. This workbook offers information and tools to walk educators through seven planning steps, from data analysis to setting goals to identifying learning designs to monitoring impact. Effective plans help individuals, schools, districts, and states to coordinate learning experiences designed to achieve outcomes for educators and students.”

Workbook Content Comments 

The workbook lives up to its promise and provides planning frameworks and tools that can help schools, districts and states establish short and long-term professional development plans. It delivers an extensive 7-step planning and implementation process, that provides detailed guidance and numerous planning tools. Depending on user knowledge and capacity, the tools can be selectively used to foster effective implementation. Regardless, I feel that the tools and frameworks can add value and will enhance planning and eventual outcomes.

Read more about the Planning Workbook and other Learning Forward resources for professional development planning and implementation.

Brad Neuenhaus

Brad is the co-founder of Keys to Literacy. Over his seven years in education, he has focused on developing on and offline materials and processes to support the professional learning of teachers and administrators. His interest is in developing programs and implementation strategies that support sustainable school and district wide instructional change.

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We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and the impact on our employees and the schools where we provide professional development.

During this time period when onsite, face-to-face training and coaching is not possible, we offer multiple options for accessing our literacy PD content and instructional practices.

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