What’s Key to Sticky PD?
Education Leadership Article by Fred Ende February 2021 | Volume 78 | Number 5
Making Professional Learning Stick Pages 38-43
“The before and after of a professional learning event is as important as the event itself.
Before reading any further, take a few minutes to consider the following two questions:
- During this past year, what has been the most valuable professional learning experience you’ve had?
- During this same period, what has been the least valuable professional learning experience you’ve had?
As you wrap up your reflection, think about what these two events have in common and what separates them. In some cases, it will be obvious how your best professional learning experiences differ from your worst. In other cases, it won’t be as clear. For instance, even a well-facilitated professional learning session may not have led to a significant change in your practice or to more successful student learning outcomes. While we know that well-delivered professional learning is more likely to be engaging and useful than poorly facilitated professional learning, there is more at play than simply how well a learning session is led.
Several years ago, I wrote a short book for ASCD titled Professional Development That Sticks (2016). In the book, I used the work of education researchers, as well as the experiences I had amassed as a teacher, regional coordinator of science, and assistant director of curriculum and instruction to make the case for a multidimensional view of professional learning. The way I saw it (and still do), professional learning will only truly “stick” if we allow ourselves to think beyond the event itself. Much like a hamburger with all the fixings, or a sandwich cookie, professional learning is a full-flavored experience. In both cases, the full flavor only arrives if the burger or cookie is eaten as a unit. The lettuce by itself is just lettuce, much as the cookie filling only provides one flavor and texture.
In the same way, professional learning will only be effective if work is put into what comes both before and after the facilitation of the learning itself. This points to the importance of planning for professional learning and following up on a professional learning event.”
The rest of the article can be found at the link provided and is well worth reading. Also, Fred Ende’s book Professional Development That Sticks is an excellent addition to your reading list.
As you work to look at improvements and professional learning, keep these ideas that“stick” in your mind. Learning for everyone is essential as we take action steps to improve overall.
Thank you for being part of the solution daily as we learn each day!