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Designing and Implementing Effective Professional Learning

Teacher professional development (PD) is critical to students’ success. This book demonstrates research-based strategies for planning, executing and evaluating the results of PD programs.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781452257792
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2013
  • Page Count: 256
  • Publication date: September 18, 2013

Price: $40.95

Price: $40.95
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For sustained success, educators must commit to their own lifelong improvement.

Commitment to high-quality professional learning is a common aspect of educational systems of the the world’s highest-achieving nations. Despite evidence that effective professional learning can be a powerful lever for school improvement, much of the professional development (PD) that is conducted in the United States has had limited impact on teacher practice...

In these pages, John Murray identifies research-based characteristics of effective teacher professional learning, detailing eight strategies for planning and executing professional development programs and evaluating their results. Content includes:

  • The proven “backward” approach to articulating the goals of your PD program
  • Descriptions of innovative and effective designs for professional learning such as Lesson Study and Instructional Rounds
  • Powerful approaches to designing and implementing online PD

Packed with templates that make getting started easy, this all-in-one resource will facilitate deep professional learning that truly enhances student achievement.

“This book is one that any teacher or administrator who is involved with leading professional learning and continuous improvement—new to the field or with great experience—would find great value in.”
— Jeff Ronneberg, Superintendent
Spring Lake Park Schools, MN

“This is a critical resource that should be on every education leader’s bookshelf. You will be challenged to find another book with so much helpful information on so many important professional development strategies that you can get started on immediately to facilitate real change in your school.”
— John D. Ross, Educational Consultant
Pulaski, VA

Key features

  • An authoritative, state-of-the-art sourcebook for planning, designing, and implementing high quality professional learning.
  • Provides an original conceptual framework that is based on the premise that effective professional learning is informed by context, content, and process.
  • Includes full chapter treatment of seven promising designs for professional learning including Lesson Study, Instructional Rounds, and best online approaches.
  • Each of the chapters on PD designs begins with a realistic example of the strategy being used which is later integrated throughout the chapter to help readers understand how to effectively implement the design.
  • Includes templates and other reproducibles to assist readers with implementation.


John Murray photo

John Murray

John Murray is an educational consultant and presenter on effective teacher learning practices in American schools. He has also been a classroom teacher, science department head, high school principal, and university instructor in his over 20 years as an educator. His previous book was titled Effective Teacher Learning Practices in U.S. Independent Schools, and he has published over a dozen articles on effective teacher professional learning. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Auburn University, an M.A. in Private School Administration from Teacher’s College at Columbia University, and both an M.Ed. and B.A. from the University of Virginia.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Figures



About the Author

1. The Need for Change

Traditional Approaches to Teacher Professional Learning

New Demands Require Change

2. Effective Teacher Professional Learning

Theoretical Models of Professional Development Action

Characteristics of Effective Professional Development


3. Context: Building an Atmosphere to Support Teacher Learning

Learning Communities




4. Content: Specifying the Goals of Professional Learning Activities

Identifying Goals

Evaluating Your Professional Development Program


5. Process: Selecting Specific Activities and Strategies

Learning Designs



6. Lesson Study

A Cycle of Instructional Improvement

The Lesson Study Philosophy

Lesson Study Steps

The Essential Elements of Lesson Study

Challenges to Engaging in Lesson Study: Misconceptions to Avoid


7. Critical Friends

The Origins of Critical Friends

The Philosophy of CFGs

Critical Friends Steps

The Essential Elements of Critical Friends

Benefits of CFGs


8. School Rounds

A Lesson From Medicine

The Rationale for School Rounds

The Steps in School Rounds

Learning With Rounds


9. Action Research

A Hands-On Approach

Why Choose Action Research?

The Action Research Process

Benefits of Action Research


10. Mentoring

The Power of Relationships

Why Mentoring Matters

Essential Steps in Building a Mentoring Program

The Work of Mentoring

The Role of the Principal

Essential Elements


11. Peer Coaching

Harnessing Peer-to-Peer Wisdom

The Rationale for Peer Coaching

Essential Steps of the Peer Coaching Process

Essential Elements


12. Online Professional Development

The Rationale for Online Professional Development

A Framework for Implementing Online Professional Development

Monitoring and Evaluating Online Professional Development


13. Personal Learning Networks

Going Global

The Power of PLNs

The Process of Creating and Cultivating PLNs

Getting Started

Using Tools to Connect: Early PLN Formation

Advanced PLN Formation: What Does It Look Like?

The Challenges of PLNs


14.The Challenges of Introducing New Forms of Teacher Professional Learning

How Have Teachers Experienced Past Professional Development?

Are Teacher Needs and Preferences Being Considered?

Are Teachers Treated With Respect?

Are Teachers Being Asked to Collaborate, Think, and Innovate?

Do School Leaders Make the New Strategies Easy to Implement?

Are Professional Development Activities Linked to a Compelling Purpose?

Breaking Down Barriers


15. A Call to Action





Price: $40.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.