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Rebooting and retooling toward a system of 21st century teacher professional development

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This presentation was delivered at 13th UNESCO-APEID International Conference and …

This presentation was delivered at 13th UNESCO-APEID International Conference and
World Bank-KERIS High Level Seminar on ICT in Education in Hangzhou, 15-17 November 2010

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • Combines research, policy and practice in US and abroad.
  • 325 Projects in 35 countries around the world. We work with Ministries of education, donors, for-profit companies, schools and teachers
  • We begin our presentation today with a tale of two teachers
  • Ismail attended a weeklong workshop for technology training in the capital of his state. He was sent to learn about computers so he could teach his colleagues. The workshop was fantastic! So “much software” he never knew even existed!
  • He returns to his school. Ismail is excited but not really sure where some of the software he’s learned about will fit in his lessons. The lab where the training was held had so much high-tech equipment; here there is computer lab, of course, but scheduling is so difficult and some of the machines don’t work. There’s no one at the school to help him practice his technology skills or push him to use what he’s learned. Plus he has so many students, so many topics to cover and preparation for student exams.
  • Siti Fatimah has attended a computer-based “training”—but not in the capital, rather in her school. In this workshop, the use of computers is far more modest—she has learned to use one computer to help students analyze a short story. The instructor tells them he is their “coach.” Siti Fatimah has no idea what this means. But over the next few months, her coach returns to her school every week. He helps her figure out ways to use the concept mapping software, Inspiration , for the school’s one laptop so her students can analyze a short story. Together they teach the lesson. He helps Siti Fatimah prepare to do the lesson alone which Siti Fatimah does. Her colleagues observe and applaud when the lesson is finished. Her coach provides suggestions on how she can improve the lesson and works with Siti Fatimah to implement these changes.
  • We probably know how Ismail’s story ends. Over time, without pressure, practice and support, Ismail’s newly-minted skills—as he shared with this author in October 2009—erode. What he did learn remains unapplied or at best under-applied. This is probably the most common outcome of professional development—and certainly computer-based professional development— across the developing world.
  • But we may be less familiar with how Siti Fatimah’s experience ends because in most ICT-based teacher professional development programs in developing countries, this kind of professional development is virtually non-existent. Siti Fatimah’s story is so rare as to be deemed undoable. But it is doable—and her experience is the basis of our presentation. Siti Fatimah’s coach left the school after a few months. But because of the support and skills she received, she says, “I am doing learner-centered activities integrating ICTs in Math, Social Studies and Science.”
  • Ismail participated in the most common form of teacher professional development in developing country contexts—the characteristics of which we all know well: Typically a workshop/training –a one-to-many approach where all teachers receive the same content in the same format Because of numbers of teachers involved, there is little regular follow-up Tries to build capacity through a cascade/train-the-trainers’ approach 4. Emphasizes the “exceptionality” of technology—workshops in labs instead of classrooms, focusing on technology training with secondary focus on core areas of teaching 5. Major metric is “number of teachers trained” or “unit costs per teachers” So common is this approach that for many policymakers and teachers, this is professional development or professional learning. But it’s an approach that is not congenial to the ways teachers learn and work and it’s an approach that’s increasingly archaic.
  • We’re most likely familiar with framework for 21 st century skills which aims to infuse “21 st century standards” into current system of education. Framework above focuses on innovation and creativity; higher-order thinking; collaboration and using technology for critical thinking and individualization of learning These framework skills depend upon essential support components—represented by concentric circles--learning environments, TPD, curriculum and instruction, and standards and assessments—without which 21 st century skills cannot take hold. There’s a disconnect between framework and some of essential support components—namely PD. Teachers are being asked to help students become 21 st century learners while teachers themselves are instructed in pre-21 st century ways. Our argument today is that if ICT-based initiatives and ICT-based TPD programs want to attain these goals—as we all claim we do—we can’t do this with our outdated system of professional development. We need a 21 st century system of PD that is grounded in optimal models of working and learning
  • What is 21 st century PD? PD initiatives which are: At their core, teacher-centered. That is, the equivalent of student-centered learning—but for teachers. And it’s grounded in knowledge of the change process, of best practices in PD, in how teachers work and learn and the accommodations necessary to facilitate such learning 1. Recognizes that teachers, like students, are unique individuals who face unique learning challenges. Differentiated, ongoing- -To make sure to make sure the innovation is successfully attained, maintained and sustained 2 . Ongoing support- Recognizes that teachers, like students, need ongoing human and physical support as well as opportunities to practice, feedback and time to revise and refine activity 3. Mirrors the teachers’ professional reality: Held, not in a hotel or computer lab, but in a classroom—in the same environment and with the same resources available to that teachers (e.g., if teacher has one computer and 25 students, PD models using one computer with 25 students) 4. Community of practice: we know from research that building school-based communities is the best way to maintain change and innovation 5. Technology integration: Minimizes technology training, focusing instead on embedding technology within the core areas of teaching (design, instruction, assessment and classroom organization). Places technology, not in a lab away from where most formal learning occurs, but in the classroom 6. Moves teachers along a trajectory of higher order learning—from understanding a concept or strategy to its application, evaluation, revision and appropriation for the teacher’s own use
  • How is all of this possible? For all of the characteristics to work—differentiation, support, focus on quality, school-based PD—21 st century PD has to be based on a system of school-based coaching. Remainder of this presentation discusses how school-based coaching is at the heart of a new approach toward teacher learning/professional development. We’ll use EDC’s one-computer classroom and online coaching pilots in Indonesia as our case example. In this pilot, a group of 19 coaches worked with teachers on a monthly basis to help them integrate four learner-centered, one-computer activities in their classrooms.
  • Thank you Mary. The aim/purpose/objective of the program, the overall program Our USAID DBE 2 project implemented a coaching program that offers something different and proven to be more effective in terms of the use of technology in active learning – in the classroom. We build teachers’ capacity through ‘coaches.’ Before doing so, the first purpose and audience, was to create a cadre of school-based coaches. Their skill sets were built through: 3 weeks of face to face workshops – where they learned about learner-centered instruction, assessment, conducting classroom observation, providing feedback 3 month online course focused on coaching where coaches learned skills with partner and they worked with teachers on weekly basis. With teachers. they used gradual release coaching through modeling, planning and co-teaching with teachers, and solo teaching where coaches observed and provided feedback There was also support of ongoing mentoring from the online mentor.
  • Online course—Strategies and Techniques for School-Based Coaching-- employed a gradual release coaching approach. Online learners (“coaches”) first modeled 4 one-computer, learner-centered activities for teachers. From there, each session, two weeks in length, scaffolded the coaching trajectory—helping coaches work with the teacher to adapt this model lesson to the teacher’s classroom; co-teach a lesson with teachers; and observe and provide feedback to teachers in their solo teaching of this activity. As coaches learned about a particular technique, they automatically applied this technique with teachers. Coaches accessed all materials (readings and video examples of coaching techniques) and communicated with one another—the whole group, their “learning team” (a cohort of four people) and their online facilitator—primarily via the free and open-source e-learning system, Moodle .
  • Example of particular session—this one on Assessing Teachers Needs (includes readings, assignment, school-based coaching activity + weekly portfolio requirement) plus additional tools and resources and discussion forum where coaches share what worked, what didn’t. Example of portfolio—coaching handbook
  • Second purpose and audience—develop skills and confidence of teachers to integrate one-computer, learner-centered activities with students. Coaches provided variety of professional development to teachers—workshops, lesson study, open lessons, 1-to-1 consultations, and co-teaching plus ongoing weekly in-class work with teachers Encouraged teams of teachers to plan activities and work together.
  • This was a very small pilot—but results are highly encouraging and consistent with what we know about coaching. In January 2010, we will do a larger pilot involving 72 coaches and close to 600 teachers
  • We also do a larger cascade-based approach for using ICT to support learner-centered instruction so were able to compare the teachers who went through the coaching program and cascade. We didn’t design this as a comparative study so we want to be cautious about data but classroom observations show that teachers who went through coaching program are more successful in managing interactive learning, allowing student collaboration and promoting higher order thinking. And the same teachers report that they feel more confident—and have less confusion about implementing –ICT-based activities even with a limited number of computers.
  • (I wouldn’t read all of this—just summarize main points)
  • Summarize two sides—they show a value chain—Teachers state that they need pressure and support to get started using ICT-based, learner-centered activities but once they do, student performance carries them. Top-down and bottom-up motivation for implementation.
  • In classrooms with 40-50 learners, students are using their one for collaboration and to begin to move toward higher order thinking (e.g. students use concept mapping software, Inspiration, to analyze a short story. As you can see from photo above, with such a program, the technology is not sequestered in a lab. Laptops are in the classrooms and students are using them as part of science, math, language and social studies. No technology training for students but technology is in the hands of children
  • All coaches completed very rigorous online course and all its requirements Professional competency: 1. Our interview results with coaches are consistent with research from several studies which documents the positive effects of coaching on the coaches themselves 2. They benefit by applying cognitive coaching skills with teachers (active listening, asking probing questions, questions, providing non-judgmental feedback, and by reassessing their classroom management) 3. More comprehensive understanding about technology and learner-centered instruction Reflective practice: Coaches report that coaching has helped them to be reflective about their own beliefs about teaching and learning   Collaboration: Coaches report value of continued contact with teachers and with one another in online environment In January these coaches will become online instructors and mentors to a new group of coaches
  • (summarize main points)
  • Main point of these 2 slides is that coaches improve their skills as teacher change agents by working directly with teachers—more than is so if they were simply ‘trainers”
  • Online coaching course is sequential and cumulative—each course topic built on previous topic and moved coaches toward mastery Learned via text, video, audio, discussion and practice Individual coaches received ongoing mentoring and support and process of coaching served as ongoing PD for coaches Teachers received same sort of individualized instruction and differentiated PD—workshop to model new techniques; lesson study (to plan a one-computer activity); open lessons (to see school-based models of one-computer, learner-centered activities); in class mentoring (through co-teaching) and in some cases video study to assess their own teaching performance
  • We know from research on PD that individualized form of PD are more effective than workshops. And we know that workshops are supported by more individualized forms of PD, such as open lessons or peer coaching, the efficacy rate increases. And we know from teachers that they value other forms of PD more than workshops or trainings. These data, gathered from interviews and focus groups with Indian teachers, shows that teachers want PD that provides them with models of good instruction (video case studies and open lessons), classroom-based supports (mentoring/peer coaching) and help designing good instruction (lesson study). Trainings and workshops score lowest on their list of most useful types of PD.
  • Both coaches and teachers received constant support. Coaches received support from one another, their coaching partner and their online instructor who mentored coaches online and face-to-face Teachers received ongoing support from colleagues and coaches and teacher learning. Ongoing support, assessment and feedback is critical to program success. Recent TALIS study by OECD demonstrates that individual feedback and support are the most critical ingredients in helping teachers improve content knowledge and instructional practice
  • We know a few things about workshops/trainings from the lit on PD   Teachers who participate most frequently in workshops/trainings have most expertise. They’re champions. Conversely, those who participate least are new teachers and struggling teachers—our at risk group. Workshops are very effective for experienced teachers because they can more easily adapt new models into their existing repertoire of knowledge. Workshops are least effective for new or struggling teachers who don’t have this existing repertoire or who have gaps in their repertoire. Above chart shows breakdown of Everett Rogers “change types” Rogers classified individuals as 5 types, with the smallest percentage as “innovators” who will immediately implement an innovation with no prodding. Early adopters—about 14%--are also eager to implement new ideas but not as quickly, effortlessly or independently as innovators. Further along the continuum, individuals become more resistant to change. Most individuals—about 68% (normal distribution) are in the middle. About 16% are classified as “laggards” (Rogers term) or “resistors”) A train-the-trainers’ model or workshop with no follow-up may easily capture the innovators (3%) and some of the early adopters. But to bring along the remaining 84% (who need support, convincing, practice, handholding)—this is where a coaching program is successful because it can “capture” a sufficient proportion of those change types who won’t implement an innovation independently. Research from CBAM shows that as individual teachers learn new behaviors and change their practice, they experience different types of concerns that require different types of responses from the PD provider.
  • Schools in which coaches worked had neither space nor money for labs or a lot of technology. At best some of these schools had 1-2 laptops; in other cases, the coach brought laptop with him. But if we use portable tech (vs. desktops), then tech-poor schools needn’t be technology poor. Students use computer in one of 4 ways—as workstation, as learning station (research) where they rotate; for lesson review; for whole-class collaborative project. Focus of PD—not on tech skills training but on comfort with technology, on mastering 4 collaborative models to allow students to use 1 computer in learner-centered ways and on helping teacher become, not a technician, but a project manager—understanding “big picture” of how technology can—or can’t—add to content, instruction and assessment. In this model, content and technology are not separate as is the case with labs; rather computers are used in classrooms by students so they are integrated with teaching and learning.
  • This program brings up the inevitable question about scale.
  • Can we scale this innovation? Yes—but it’s not cheap or easy, nor for that matter, is any effective PD.
  • Caution in discussing scale. Often our measures of scale are inputs—number of teachers trained. But in fact, we need to be measuring outputs: Specifically, implementation —how many teachers are actually implementing what they’ve learned? Leakage: Conversely, how many teachers are dropping out or simply not applying what they’ve learned in classrooms? Latency: The time it takes between workshop and application of new ideas in the classroom. We know from research that teachers that there’s an optimal amount of time after learning to implement, beyond that optimal timeframe there’s a diminution in quality. High fidelity to innovation: Quality assurance. The kind of 21 st century PD we describe scores very high on these measures—in contrast to traditional cascade approaches or workshops. Finally, impact on student learning: This is something many even most teacher training initiatives will not touch—in part because there are so many confounding variables that impact student learning but also, tacitly, we may not have faith in our own initiatives. If we consider all these factors, “scale” as it’s currently defined is a pretty poor indicator of success.
  • Finally, turn to work that’s being done on scale by Cynthia Coburn at UCAL Berkeley, by Chris Dede at Harvard and by Microsoft’s PiL initiative. Coburn (2003) defined scale as encompassing five interrelated dimensions: Spread Depth Sustainability Shift Evolution
  • Siti Fatimah and Ismail are not fictitious characters. They are teachers living and working in East Java, Indonesia, and Raichur, India and respectively. Though the teacher professional development system is designed to help teachers like Ismail and Siti Fatimah, they do not attend international ICT conferences or write papers. But, as teachers they know what models do and don’t work for them—and they know what models of professional development are worthwhile and those that are not. The last word goes to them:
  • This from Ismail who is beginning his “study” as a school-based coach. Ismail, too, has been going through a regimen of workshops, followed by school-based implementation of what he’s learned with teachers and students (open lessons) and then video review of his activity with an EDC facilitator. Over the next 6 months, Ismail will continue with this formation and become a coach who will work with several schools.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Rebooting and Retooling: Toward a System of 21st Century Teacher Professional Development Mary Burns Petra Bodrogini Education Development Center Newton, USA & Jakarta, Indonesia mburns@edc.org
    • 2. Education Development Center http://www.edc.org
    • 3. TWO TEACHERSIsmail and Siti Fatimah
    • 4. Ismail
    • 5. Siti Fatimah
    • 6. Ismail’s story….
    • 7. Siti Fatimah’s story….
    • 8. TWO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENTAPPROACHES20th vs. 21st Century Professional Development
    • 9. Pre-21st Century Professional Development
    • 10. 21st Century Skills
    • 11. 21st CenturyProfessionalDevelopment Teacher-centered & Metric: Quality
    • 12. EDC/USAID’s One-ComputerClassroom & Coaching Pilot
    • 13. Building Capacity of Coaches and Teachers1. Coaches• 3 weeks of face-to-face workshops with follow--up• 3 month online course focused on coaching• Coaches learned skills and with partner work with teachers on a weekly basis• Ongoing mentoring• With teachers, they used a gradual release coaching approach—modeling, planning, co-teaching, solo teaching with observation and feedback
    • 14. http://ptk-online.org
    • 15. Example of e-portfolioExample of session
    • 16. 2. Teachers92 teachers•Integrate 4 learner-centered, one-computeractivity in classrooms•Variety of PD—workshops,lesson study, open lesson,ongoing consultations, co-teaching•Meet weekly with coaches; work with school partners
    • 17. RESULTS AND IMPACTTeachers, Coaches and Students
    • 18. 1. Teachers•100% designed and carried out their one-computeractivities with students•100% report that the coaching program has helpedthem learn how to teach with limited technology•100% report improved confidence in teaching withtechnology, carrying out learner-centered activitiesand letting students use technology•Teachers are continuing with these activities eventhough coach has left the school
    • 19. Coaching vs. Cascade•Report less fear and confusion about how toimplement new instructional strategies and technology•More successful in managing interactive learning,using multiple learning resources, providingopportunities for collaboration, and promoting higherorder thinking•Evidence of continuous learning and enthusiasm inimplementing new strategies in the classrooms fromthe just-in-time support
    • 20. What Teachers SayAfter the workshop, I wasn’t really sure what to do..I wasthinking how would I implement these ideas?Then Miss Lia started to visit us for school based coachingprogram. That’s when I started to talk about the plan, revise itbased on feedback from my coach, Miss Lia, and tryout it outbefore the class. What I like about this program is that there wasclear guidance. Because, you know, you have to make sure thateverything is well prepared before the class begins. You have tolook good in front of the students.(Sundari (5th grade teacher: Tulangan Elementary School, Surabaya, East Java,Indonesia)
    • 21. What Teachers SayStudents loved the lesson. I never thought that theycould do what they successfully did. They enjoyedtaking different group roles, collaborating, discussingand learning by using the laptop and digital camera.They were very excited, interested and engaged by thetechnology. It really fits them. So, why not use it inclass? …The principal supports this approach and shebought a laptop for the school which we all share inclassrooms.
    • 22. 2. Students
    • 23. 3. Coaches•100% completion rate•Increased confidencein their abilities asinstructional coaches•Increased self-esteem•Increased professionalcompetency•Feel part ofcommunity of practice Teacher (Sundari) with her coach, DBE2 ICT assistant, Lia.
    • 24. What Coaches SayI learned a lot from being a coach. Teachers were so creative andthis provided me with more resources to work with. For example, Icould refer to ideas of one teacher when I was working with othersin other school. What we did was actually sharing.What also helped was the online course Strategies and Techniquesfor School-Based Coaching which I took concurrently as weimplemented the coaching program. The course provided resourceson good facilitation skills, how to provide feedback, which I thinkhelped me a lot to consider teachers as partners.(Lia Kiswahono, DBE 2 Coach, East Java)
    • 25. What Coaches SayMy capacity as an educator has been enhanced through the process of coaching. I learned every step of the way. For example, before meeting teachers in schools, we know that there are goals and concepts to be achieved and worked on. So I needed to prepare, which made me learn too. And I still am learning. In this collaboration, I also learned from teachers.And of course, there are challenges. Teachers are not the same. There are young teachers who are excited and more senior ones who were not so keen. What satisfies me is when I see “challenging” teachers become motivated, work with us, and apply their new skills in the classroom. They even could perform better than those who were more literate in technology.(Supriyadi, DBE 2 Coach, Central Java)
    • 26. HOW IS THIS AN EXAMPLE OF 21STCENTURY PROFESSIONALDEVELOPMENT?
    • 27. Differentiated, ongoing, sequential andcumulative professional development 21st Century Professional Development
    • 28. 2. Ongoing Support21st Century Professional Development
    • 29. Impact of Ongoing Support Rogers’ Change Types
    • 30. Technology Integration• No labs—computers in the classroom as part of content• Laptops• No breakage, no theft, no damage—in spite of predictions to the contrary 21st Century Professional Development
    • 31. BUT WHAT ABOUT SCALE???
    • 32. We Need to Recognize……High quality professional development is neither cheap nor easy; it is requires money, resources, support and time. Above all, it requires will. National Staff Development Council, (United States)
    • 33. There’s More to Scale Than NumbersNot just inputs (number of teachers trained) but outputs, specifically:• Implementation• Leakage• Latency• Fidelity (quality)• Impact on student learning
    • 34. Dimensions of Scale1. Spread: Modifying to retain effectiveness while reducing the level of resources and expertise required2. Depth: Conducting rigorous evaluation and research to understand and enhance causes of effectiveness3. Sustainability: Adapting to inhospitable contexts via developing hybrids tailored to adverse conditions4. Shift: Moving beyond "brand" to support user ownership as co-evaluators, co-designers, and co- scalers5. Evolution: Learning from users adaptations to rethink the innovations design model.
    • 35. CONCLUSION: TWO QUOTES
    • 36. Siti FatimahOrdinary training is just training. That’s it. Nofollow up. I will never know what I lack and needto develop further for improvements. I need toreceive feedback for refinements.I am continuing to use technology to enhanceteaching and learning.
    • 37. IsmailPlease, madam, do this training for all teachersin India, not just Karnataka. Since we areteaching, no one has ever helped us be goodteachers. All they do is talk and talk and thenthey forget us. But now we know how to dosomething and you will continue to help us. I amso happy, Madam. Please do this for all of India.
    • 38. Thank You 谢谢 Mary Burns mburns@edc.org Petra Bodroginipbodrogini@edc.org