Podcast: Connecting the Dots & Meaningful PD

Shannon K. Buerk, Founder & CEO of engage2learn, recently sat down with Danny Bauer from the Better Leaders Better Schools Podcast to explore how public education leaders can rexamine, reimagine, and redesign PD to make it meaningful for educators, sustainable for districts, and impactful for learners.

Key Takeaways

  • If one-size-fits-all instruction doesn't work for all students, how can we expect one-size-fits-all PD to work for all educators?
  • Connect the dots between educator growth and student outcomes data to make PD individualized, meaningful, and sustainable.
  • Implement a measurable, evidence-based educator support system in order to focus efforts on what is contributing to the success of learners and abandon what isn't.
  • Treat and develop educators as the talent that they are through differentiated professional learning, evidence-based feedback, and ongoing recognition of educator growth.

Excerpt from the Episode

Danny Bauer: What are the dots that are being connected?

Shannon K. Buerk: Great question. If we want a growth-based system, we need to measure what we really value. The way the system is set up now, we're really not measuring educator growth at all. We're really not measuring anything for educators. We're doing all this student data analysis, but reports now say all this data-driven instruction isn't actually impacting student outcomes. And the research is showing us that the reason for this is that it [student outcomes data] is not being connected to the inputs [educator growth on and implementation of competencies].

So, we have all this student data, but we're never saying, "What are we doing?" We can figure out where the gaps are in the student data, but we don't know what to double down on, what to do differently, or what to keep doing. But if we connect educator growth in competencies to the student outcomes, we can say, "Oh, look! When someone has these competencies, they get these outcomes." Then you know what to do on the front end because you know what the inputs are.

Connecting the dots is really about connecting the inputs and the outcomes so that people have access to insight about what to do differently.

Catch the entire conversation now here. Enjoy!

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