A Message from the LFKS President
During this transition year, Learning Forward KS has accomplished some amazing things.
Our website has a new and refreshing look and provides more information about professional learning than ever before. It’s updated frequently to continue to give ideas of ways to increase the effectiveness of professional learning in the field.
We have increased our visibility and presence throughout the state through emails, blogs, and social media, as well as our voice through committee representation at the state level.
We continue to offer learning opportunities that will increase everyone’s knowledge of what quality professional learning looks like in action.
We continue to work on the tasks outlined in our Learning Forward grant proposal; creating video examples of…read more
Professional Learning in the News
The Gift of Exquisite Listening
by Dennis Sparks
“One social habit that I used to be quite bad at was to truly listen when other people spoke. I sometimes zoned out. I got distracted or my attention started to wander before they were done talking. Or I just waited for my turn to talk again (while thinking about what I should say next). Not very helpful. So things had to change.” —Henrik Edberg
There is no greater gift that one person can give another than sustained, attentive, and nonjudgmental listening.
Being fully heard and deeply understood by another human being is rare and can be life changing.
Because such committed listening also enriches the experience of the listener, it can transform relationships.
Connections in Kansas
By the KLFA Staff
•January 6, 2016•
Kansas Learning First Alliance (KLFA) met January 6 at the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) building. KLFA celebrated the start of its 17th year working toward its vision to unite the education community to improve the outstanding public education system, pre-K through higher education, and to empower each Kansan to succeed in the diverse, interdependent world of the 21st century.
The Legislative Update included the continued concern with educational funding using the Block Grant system. The Efficiency Report and the State of the State will be important toward determining what will happen next. The upcoming election will play a critical role as to what decision makers are at the table…read more
News from KSDE
Kansas State Department of Education Commissioner Randy Watson unveiled the “Kansans Can'” vision for education in Kansas at the the KSDE Annual Conference on October 27th, 2015.
Commissioner Watson said, “Kansans have never backed down from a challenge, especially where our children are concerned. We have top educators in this state. We have great leadership throughout our schools, and we have a robust business community. The pieces are there – we just have to get them all working together. Kansans Can!”…read more
Connections with Learning Forward
By Eric Celeste
•April 15, 2016•
In 2011, Learning Forward revealed its third iteration of Standards for Professional Learning — seven characteristics of professional learning that lead to effective teaching practices, supportive leadership, and improved student results. The 2011 standards (see p. 11), built on those issued in 1994 and revised in 2001, combine decades of research, lessons learned, and input from 40 professional education organizations.
Undergirding all seven standards is this fundamental premise: The purpose of professional learning is for educators to develop the knowledge, skills, practices, and dispositions they need to help students perform at higher levels. The standards are not a prescription for how education leaders and public officials should
address all the challenges related to improving the performance of educators and their students. The standards focus on one critical issue — professional learning.
The seven standards focus attention on educator learning that relates to successful student learning, and it is vital that we support all educators in doing the same. Every educator requires professional learning that is interactive, relevant, sustained, and embedded in everyday practice. Only by achieving such a vision for professional learning is equity of access to high-quality education for every student possible.
It is not a simple matter to connect the dots between high quality professional learning and student outcomes. However, the theory of action that drives the standards, and indeed much of Learning Forward’s work, is a continuous model of improvement: Standards-based professional learning leads to greater overall educator expertise, which causes changes in educator practice that results in better student outcomes (see “Relationship between professional learning and student results”). There is much embedded in each of those four circles, and the aim of this issue of JSD is to encourage readers to explore the ideas behind the standards in depth through a range of lenses and consider next actions…read more