Over the past school year a team of teachers at my school participated in PLP (Powerful Learning Practice). The purpose of PLP is to allow educators the opportunity to participate in job-embedded professional development and action research centered around the changing learning landscape of the 21st century.
The goal of our action research project was to institute changes in teaching practices that would involve students in more authentic learning experiences, the impact of which would expand beyond classroom walls, and to consider the effects of these changes on students’ knowledge of the use of technology for communication, collaboration, and research. A secondary goal of the project was to evaluate the impact our PLP team teachers have on the school’s faculty through their modeling of innovative teaching and learning.
The participation in the action research project has led to many interesting discussions about how teachers can lead positive change from within a school building. Some of our discussions have revolved around:
- how schools might look different in 10 -15 years
- how teachers can encourage other teachers to change
- how schools might better allocate resources to gain the technology necessary so all students can be connected
- how we can use teacher “experts” to lead professional development
- how we need to shift from teacher directed to student directed learning
- teachers acting as the lead learner of the classroom
- taking into account student interests, learning styles and passions when planning instruction
- the importance of connected learning for teachers and students
I would be interested to hear how your schools are changing and what you envision schools and learning looking like in the future.