MERN Forum Presentation id=132
MERN Forum # 8
Session: 1F
Author: Lynn Whidden & Ralph Mason
Affiliation: Brandon University & University of Manitoba
Title : "Changing the scale of professional development"
Description : We know how large-scale professional development works, and what it can do. We know what it cannot do. Too often, professional development is general, dealing with groups of teachers as if they and their classrooms were irrelevant factors in the instructional improvement being discussed. Many teachers are ready to move beyond general statements of principle and generic information. Could we reconceptualize professional development in a way that begins in the classroom, is steered by the teacher, and enables the teacher to address their classroom goals with new teaching processes? Perhaps the success of recent arts-based teaching initiatives in Manitoba could provide us with lighthouse examples that we could navigate by. Using data from the ArtsSmarts Manitoba Research Project, this presentation will develop an alternate image of professional development. It will suggest that we could design growth experiences for teachers that build teachers’ practices one at a time, within their classroom. .These experiences could be aimed directly by each teacher to address their classroom goals and to work within the culture of their classroom. The experiences could use local or imported resources as available, and could be scheduled to fit teachers’ plans for their students. We can have professional development that builds on individual teachers’ strengths to enable them to improve the learning of their students, now.
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