Practice Exchanges: Making Our Professional Learning Visible
Practice Exchanges are an alternative way of thinking about how you plan professional development days. A Practice Exchange is an event that is connected to the ongoing learning of educators who are engaged in
- adult learning as a shared responsibility,
- shared accountability for student learning,
- using evidence to discuss teaching and learning with others, and
- collaborative learning that is captured and shared with others.
The assumption is that the expertise resides in the learning community. Practice Exchanges are just one example of what it could look like when systems begin to integrate and provide some coherence around deprivatizing practices in order to improve teaching and learning.
As members of the Literacy in Learning Exchange community conduct Practice Exchanges, we will continue to update this collection.
Browse the Practice Exchange collections below. Each collection includes video excerpts from the actual event, sample agendas, tools and protocols used, as well as other resources that may be adapted as needed.
The New Haven Unified School District Evidence Fair is an example of a reflective practice that the district uses with its instructional leadership teams (ILT). Every school in the district has an instructional leadership team, and all teams meet together for district-wide professional development approximately every six weeks. Near the end of the year, at the evidence fair, each ILT shares a story of what its school has accomplished and what new challenges emerged with respect to the school's instructional focus.
The Nevada Department of Education’s (NDE) Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy(SRCL) Grant extends to four very unique districts across the state. Each district—Clark County, Douglas County, Lyon County, and Washoe County—has begun implementing innovative and exciting programs and practices to address students’ diverse literacy needs from birth through high school. At this initial Practice Exchange, developed in partnership with NCTE, practitioners from each district shared successes and challenges in each of four domains (professional development, assessment, data-based decision-making, and partnership). Participants will continue sharing their work via the Learning in Literacy Exchange website.
The Rowland Unified School District Practice Fair was a culminating event that gathered 17 communities of practice from across the district to 1) share the impact that learning had on practice and student learning 2) deepen inquiry-based conversation around instruction, and 3) celebrate the second year of CoPs and end of Ball Foundation partnership. Using processes that support questioning, reflection, and dialogue, teachers and administrators learned about each others' practice and generated insights about learning in collaboration with others.
This archived web event is an example of a virtual practice exchange, in which panelists discussed their efforts to strengthen family engagement in their respective schools. Three different initiatives were represented. Using a structured protocol, members of the panel provided an overview of their programs and a current challenge that they brought to the discussion for feedback and input from the other participants. This online event provided a sampling of family/school partnership possibilities and ended with a conversation about how to continue the conversation and to further expand investigations in this area.
- Sharing Our Practices: Using Collaborative Structures to Address the Challenges of Implementing the Common Core
Schools around the country are engaged in efforts to implement the Common Core State Standards. This virtual practice exchange included two different school-based initiatives where collaborative structures and processes form the foundation of their ongoing work to address the challenges of implementing the Common Core.
Summer time provides a number of unique opportunities for extended learning. Students have summer school and camp opportunities, and teachers attend workshops and develop new lessons. Clearly, there's nothing truly "off-season" about the summer months. This web event explores the potential of joining these two, usually separate, learning opportunities—building summer learning experiences focus on outcomes for student learning as well as professional learning.
Teacher induction, when done well, can lead to teachers staying in the classroom and in their schools for longer periods of time. Another factor that influences whether a teacher stays or leaves is the school culture. Building coherence and collective capacity within a school holds promise for increasing retention and quality instruction for all students. Many teacher induction programs are already opening classroom doors to reduce teacher isolation, embedding collaborative learning opportunities, and striving to connect more closely with building and district-wide initiatives. During this web event, two districts discuss their strategies for increasing the coherence and connection of their inducation program to other schoolwide initiatives.