Learning Centered Systems

Systems: Coherence and Capacity

Significant, sustainable professional development, the kind that translates into improved instruction and increased student achievement, depends on a clear system for how professionals learn about, in, and for practice. Content and collaboration, while important, are only the beginning; our goal is coherence, the creation of a learning system that makes the work of schooling a source of knowledge and growth for teachers and administrators alike.

Our Systems work is a long-term thought partnership and professional learning system with your school or district that addresses pedagogical and social capital through inquiry-oriented, practice-based study. More than simply building the professional knowledge base of your school or district, we seek to build your ways of knowing: how professionals learn and practice. We do so through a comprehensive professional development plan that includes:

  • Developing the collaboration structures and focus of your learning communities (e.g., PLCs, data teams, grade level teams)
  • Teacher-designated problems of practice and guided inquiry cycles
  • Close study of the work of teaching: video analysis, student work, lesson study
  • Timely targeted professional development that addresses how to address instructionally the problem of practice (see: Intensives)
  • Coaching and consultative support
  • Teacher leadership development

The structure and sequence of our Systems efforts are completely customized to your school's needs and goals, but typically involve 8-15 engagement days over the course of an academic year. These include full-day professional development workshops, as well as strategic planning sessions with your instructional leadership teams; most of the work occurs in your school's learning communities and inside classrooms. Systems work includes ongoing training and coaching of teacher leaders to position them as future professional development leaders.

Check out a case study of our Systems work and an example Systems plan.