Professional Learning Series

The views expressed on the CTE Educator website, blogs and posts are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Greater Johnstown School District, the Greater Johnstown School District Board of Directors, or Administration.

Replacing Professional Development vs. Professional Learning

BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal): Content Teachers will … Develop an ePortfolio with a Reflective Blog component for use in their classrooms to model. The Overarching Course Goal is the improvement of CTE students’ writing skills through reflective blogging in their ePortfolio.

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Introduction: Replacing a Professional Development ,(PD), paradigm with a Professional Learning, (PL), paradigm should be a priority for districts and teachers in our districts. We are not seeing results from traditional PD in student achievement. It is time to try something different. We know that successful teacher learning and practice prior to implementing the concept or pedagogy change learned takes up to 20 attempts and up to 50 hours of practice during implementation, (Teaching the Teacher; Gulamhussein, 2013). To help combat the implementation problem the commitment to practice and a ‘safe’ method of implementation will be three-fold.

  1. The Professional Learning series in the Google classroom, (Join Code: i26qrw3), is designed to be covered over a 5 day period. It includes practice time with peers prior to implementation.
  2. Pair teacher-learners to co-teach and to peer review their joint efforts. The goal is not the review, it is a safe environment to support each other throughout the implementation of the project. We become our own instructional coaches.
  3. Co-teaching will occur weekly during a principal’s assignment throughout the week. It does not have to occur on the same day for both co-teachers. It should fit their schedule.
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All of this supports my innovation plan, implementing ePortfolios in Career and Technical Education to Improve Writing Skills in Content Areas through Reflective Blogging. Below is the complete slide deck for the five days of my Professional Learning Series. The series incorporates the “Five Key Principles of Effective Professional Development”, which are:

  1. The duration of professional development must be significant and ongoing to allow time for teachers to learn a new strategy and grapple with the implementation problem.
  2. There must be support for a teacher during the implementation stage that addresses the specific challenges of changing classroom practice.
  3. Teachers’ initial exposure to a concept should not be passive, but rather should engage teachers through varied approaches so they can participate actively in making sense of a new practice.
  4. Modeling has been found to be highly effective in helping teachers understand a new practice.
  5. The content presented to teachers shouldn’t be generic, but instead specific to the discipline (for middle school and high school teachers) or grade-level (for elementary school teachers).

These principles and the Standards for Professional Learning are the driving force in the Professional Learning series for CTE instructors that is in the slide deck below. To feed the “Teacher Learner” and the “Teacher Technician”, I have included links supporting both positions below, along with links to the course outline and course design. Also included is a Google Classroom and invite code for you to join the learning series. Feel free to use anything contained therein, giving credit to copyrighted or creative commons licenses where applicable.

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Start Here: Why? Let’s switch from a Professional Development paradigm to a Professional Learning Mindset.

#2: The Teacher-Learner.

  1. Teaching the Teachers: Click Here.
  2. Does Teacher Collaboration Promote Teacher Growth? Click Here.
  3. Standards for Professional Learning
  4. For Further Learning:
    • Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: Click Here.

#3: The Teacher-Technician

  1. Course Outline: Click Here.
  2. BHAG & 3 Column Table: Click Here.
  3. Choose a LMS Platform:


Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the teachers effective professional development in an era of high stakes accountability. Center for Public Education. Retrieved

Further references are included in the slide deck.