The learning conference Learning Forward’s 2018 Annual Conference puts educator learning at the forefront. We joined colleagues from all over the world! Inspiring practitioners and thought leaders met at the Gaylord Texan Convention Centre in Dallas, Texas USA to find answers to our most pressing teaching and learning challenges.
The Venue The Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center will serve as conference central this year. With 4.5 acres of indoor gardens featuring the rugged canyons of the Texas Hill Country and a meandering replica of San Antonio’s Legendary Riverwalk, the Gaylord Texan offers a beautiful backdrop for learning and reflection.
“Learning Forward's Conference is a world-class professional learning event. I participate in it each year to stay current on leading-edge practices in education and public education”. — Conference Attendee
We return home from this educational conference with strategies for strengthening learning systems and solid practices for leading capacity- building efforts at all levels. Our network of peers expanded to include learning leaders from around the world. More than 300 concurrent sessions addressing the most pressing issues for education leaders including improving instruction, social-emotional learning, culturally responsive pedagogy, applying data-driven decision making, understanding professional development redesign, developing leadership capacity, learning facilitation skills, supporting new teachers and principals, implementing effective school improvement, and much more.
“This was the first conference in a long time that I left feeling like I had grown professionally. Often times conferences are full of "infomercials" for products but don't provide me with the knowledge and skills that I can implement immediately. Thank you for challenging my thinking and inspiring me!” —Dawn Spurlock
The mission of Learning Forward Build the capacity of leaders to establish and sustain highly effective professional learning. Learning Forward members learn how to leverage professional learning to ensure every student has an equal opportunity to learn at high levels. Vision Equity and excellence in teaching and learning. Mission Learning Forward builds the capacity of leaders to establish and sustain highly effective professional learning. Beliefs Professional learning that improves educator effectiveness is fundamental to student learning. All educators have an obligation to improve their practice. More students achieve when educators assume collective responsibility for student learning. Successful leaders create and sustain a culture of learning. Effective school systems commit to continuous improvement for all adults and students.
Strategic Priorities Overview Learning Forward's recently revised Standards for Professional Learning define the elements essential to educator learning that leads to improved practice and better results for students. Learning Forward's strategic plan is designed to advance the standards both nationally and internationally. Working simultaneously to serve the members of the organisation and influence the wider education field,
Learning Forward will focus on the three priority areas below over the next seven years. Standards and Impact Learning Forward establishes standards and examines evidence to strengthen and document the impact of professional learning.
Leadership and Practice Learning Forward builds the capacity of its members, clients, partners, and staff to establish and sustain effective professional learning.
Advocacy and Policy Learning Forward advocates policies and practices that strengthen the field of professional learning.The highlight of the conference Developing a Professional Learning Program – The Indian Experience Session conducted by Karl Clauset, National Center for School Change; Devanjali & Sandeep Dutt, Learning Forward India. An exploration of the Learning Forward India Professional Learning Program (PLP), an extended learning experience that immerses teachers across India in a model of inquiry and problem-based learning. Showcase of how blended learning provided a common platform to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing and accelerate program delivery.
Appreciation of the accomplishments of teachers who journeyed from resistance to the joy of learning and their students. Take away ideas to improve your own PLP.
What is the Professional Learning Program in India?
The Professional Learning Program (PLP) is an extended and profound learning experience. It immerses members in a model of inquiry and problem-based learning that enables them to meet their learning objectives through a collaborative learning environment—all with the support of experienced coaches. The PLP is also grounded in the concepts of transformative learning and collaborative inquiry Schools Can Change (Corwin, 2013) and in the high-quality professional learning concepts outlined in Standards of Professional Learning (Learning Forward, 2011). The PLP is a three-year certificate program during which teachers engage in workshops, webinars, staff exchanges with
partner schools, and eLearning exercises to find solutions to teaching and learning challenges.
The minimum time required to participate in the program increases from 90 hours in year one to 150 hours in year three. Educators divide their time between structured training sessions and self-directed professional learning with increasing amounts of self-directed time as they progress from year to year. Teachers voluntarily put in extra time and effort.
Keys to Success
We attribute the success of the 3-year PLP to these three factors:
1. Building an All-India Learning Community of resources
2. Fostering the teachers’ happiness by empowering them to create their own Professional Learning Program
3. Embracing social media and technology
The PLP Experience in Their Own Words “Compared with other schools, educators here are more confident, with no hesitation, empowered as they know their opinion will be valued, have started writing a blog, confidently use technology and handle social media, like posting on their own newsweekly and professional writing.” –Rajeshree Shihag, Principal, The Fabindia School
“After successful completion of the PLP, I feel more confident as an educator. I’ve transformed myself into a teacher equipped with core values (soft skills) and a user of technology for personal fulfilment and enrichment of mind and soul.” –Ajay Vijayvargi, Teacher
“PLP in our school encouraged me to connect my teaching with real-life situations. My confidence level for presenting views and ideas has improved and it helped me to think about changing my way of teaching.” –Byju P. Joseph, Teacher
We would love to hear from you!
Devanjali & Sandeep Dutt