student learning

Taking a Critical Lens to Instructional Design

No one can deny the fact that we are seeing some pretty exciting changes in teaching, learning, and leadership. Advances in research, brain science, and technology are opening up new and better pathways to reach learners like never before. This excitement, in some cases, effects real change and has supporting evidence of improvement. In other cases, money is being dumped on the latest tool, program, idea, or professional development without ensuring that instructional design is up to par in the first place. Pedagogy trumps technology. It also goes without saying that a solid pedagogical foundation should be in place prior to implementing any innovative idea. (more…)

Moving from Analysis to Action—Building Capacity through Conversation

Guest post by David Johns

Numerous tools exist to help Professional Learning Communities (PLC) grow. There are checklists to ensure that the right roles are assigned. There are accountability documents to ensure that teams meet on time and in a common location. There are even the four timeless guiding questions from Rick DuFour to keep PLCs focused on the work of improving achievement. So why then do most PLC conversations stall out once we’ve looked at student work? Why don’t we turn our attention to actions we need to take as educators to address what we see? (more…)

Using Learning Targets as a GPS to Student Learning

Guest post by Drake Shelton

When I drive, my GPS helps me navigate to where I am going. It shows me multiple routes, an estimated arrival time, and the distance to my destination. My GPS has saved me countless hours of frustration by alerting me to traffic and helping me get back on track when I get lost.

But as Connie M. Moss, Susan M. Brookhart, and Beverly A. Long state, “a GPS can’t do any of that without a precise description of where you want to go.” (more…)