As I reflect about our Annual Learning Forward Conference, the word that comes to me is deliberate. Robin Fogarty was our keynote speaker. Her most recent book is, “Unlocking Student Talent: The Science of Developing Expertise”. Robin’s message for us was how to produce students who are independent learners and are prepared to acquire whatever skills are needed for their future. We can do this by empowering students to fly. As teachers, we need to spark their curiosity, hook them, ask questions, allow them to investigate, validate their work, and require justification and application. Teachers need to be deliberate about coaching students through encouragement, instruction, empowerment and inspiration. Robin says, “talent is made, not born”.
Robin asked us to think about a person or persons who have “coached” us or helped shape us into who we are today. As I reflect on the mentors in my life, they have supported me in different ways. I could quickly write down key people in my life who have provided me with unconditional love, support, challenged me, encouraged me, were honest and gave me guidance. As teachers, we need to be deliberate in providing these supports to our students.
Robin used a term called “student agency.” This is about the student being the “agent” in the classroom rather than the teacher. Instead of the teacher lecturing and doing all the work the student is making, creating, doing, sharing, collaborating, and publishing in ways that…read more
By Vicki Bechard, LFKS Secretary and Dayna Richardson, LFKS Executive Director
Learning Forward Kansas is proud to announce that the complete professional learning series: Inspired to Learn: Kansas Stories is available on the LFKS website for immediate use by all Kansas educators. This free, five video resource is accompanied by a facilitation guide for each video to create the most beneficial experience for users seeking to achieve effective professional learning in their school or district. Facilitation guides offer resources and strategies to enhance the video experience, modeling collaborative …read more
Six Features of Effective Professional Development
Why Following Them May Still Fall Short of Teachers' Needs
by Emily Perry
A consensus is emerging from numerous research studies about what makes teacher professional development (PD) effective. The Department for Education used the characteristics of effective PD, according to these studies, as the basis for its Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development. Many organisations now use similar sets of characteristics to design and evaluate PD activities...read more
Connections in Kansas
News Release from KLFA
•August 29, 2019•
The Kansas Learning First Alliance (KLFA) held its first meeting of the academic year on August 29, 2019 at the KNEA building in Topeka, Kansas. Laurie Curtis, KLFA Chair, welcomed representatives of 25 educational organizations in support of strong public education in our state.
The Kansas Commissioner of Education, Dr. Randy Watson, provided an update on Kansas education initiatives…
News from KSDE
Connections with Learning Forward
Stephanie Hirsch and Frederick Brown
At Learning Forward, we fundamentally believe every child deserves access to excellent teaching and learning every day, regardless of his or her ZIP code or family income. Socioeconomic conditions, race, ethnic background, and other factors should not be predictors for educational attainment.
We believe school systems and other learning environments have to be relentless in addressing the issue of expanding learning opportunities for each and every student while building on the strengths all children bring to the classroom.
These beliefs are fundamental to our approaches to achieving equity. They underlie the decision the board of trustees made earlier this year to explicitly include equity in Learning Forward’s vision statement: Equity and excellence in teaching and learning.
We recognize that districts and schools have many tools to address their equity challenges, and we believe effective professional learning can play a crucial role. How a district defines equity will determine the role professional learning can play in helping the