The words “professional development” have been known to strike fear into the hearts of novice and veteran teachers alike, as they conjure images of either sitting in an uncomfortable chair for hours as the presenter reads slide after slide of information or being forced to interact awkwardly with a group of strangers. Something that has become evident during this course is that we as educators should not only rethink our students’ learning environments, but our professional learning environments as well. We certainly no longer hold the belief that students should be subjected to hours of passive sit-and-get learning, so why shouldn’t that apply to adult learners as well?
According to the Center for Public Education (Gulamhussein, 2013), The 5 Key Principles of Effective Professional Learning include duration, support, active learning, modeling, and specificity. In the last few years, professional learning has become ever more engaging in that it has been designed for a specific audience and included active learning. However, the factors that are still missing from even the most innovative sessions are duration, ongoing support, and modeling. By adding these elements, we can increase the chance that teachers will truly integrate the new information or strategy into their classrooms, thereby changing campus culture and learning environments.
What follows is an outline of a plan to help introduce these Blended Learning concepts that includes incorporating the 5 Key Principles of Effective Professional Learning:
Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the teachers effective professional development in an era of high stakes accountability. Center for Public Education. Retrieved from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/system/files/2013-176_ProfessionalDevelopment.pdf