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Intentional Interruption

Breaking Down Learning Barriers to Transform Professional Practice
Interrupt the status quo of activity-based PD to enable real professional learning by focusing on learning, collaborative inquiry, and instructional leadership in schools.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781412998796
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2012
  • Page Count: 120
  • Publication date: December 18, 2012

Price: $29.95

Price: $29.95
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We interrupt this program to bring meaningful, conceptual change to your team's professional learning!

If you're involved in professional learning, you know that big ideas can sometimes get stuck on the way to becoming real change. Steven Katz and Lisa Ain Dack explain the secret to getting unstuck: interrupting the status quo of traditional activity-based professional development to help educators embrace permanent changes in thinking and behavior. They outline a process—grounded in psychological research—for real professional learning that ultimately leads to improved student achievement.

You can enable true learning by

  • Building a focus on learning, collaborative inquiry, and formal and informal instructional leadership in schools
  • Recognizing the psychological processes involved in adult learning, and overcoming the psychological biases and barriers to change 
  • Using tools and strategies such as critical friend relationships, learning conversations, task sheets, and protocols

Illustrated with concrete, school-based examples drawn from real practice, Intentional Interruption shows how rethinking professional learning can lead to the development of a real and sustainable learning culture in your school.

"Few books challenge your thinking of a field to this degree. The authors reveal the secret key to unlocking true professional learning and thus impact for students."
—Terry Morganti-Fisher, Consultant
Learning Forward

"Before your learning team goes much further, it needs to stop, read, and collectively reflect on these insights. This book will identify those sticky challenges and how you can optimize your joint work."
—Mag Gardner, Superintendent of Student Achievement
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, ON

Key features

Features and Benefits

  • Based on an empirically validated theory of action focused on how real, new professional learning leads to changes in practice, and ultimately, to improved student achievement.
  • Describes how to "enable" true knowledge creation by building three key capacities: a learning focus, collaborative inquiry that challenges thinking and practice, and formal and informal instructional leadership.
  • Explains the psychological processes involved in learning, noting why and how we typically avoid the precursor to real new learning – conceptual change.
  • Offers a range of tools and strategies for facilitating real learning – or to put it differently, for intentionally interrupting the habits of mind and practice that support the status quo and impede conceptual change—including critical friend relationships, learning conversations, task sheets, and protocols.
  • Shows how to embed and sustain a true learning culture in schools by examining key psychological tenets that support the ongoing cycle of inquiry that makes real, new learning (conceptual change) possible, including the motivation requirements for cultivating change, the critical role of "effort" and "deliberate practice", and "metacognitive regulation" – as a habit of mind and practice – for achieving results.


Steven Katz photo

Steven Katz

Steven Katz is the director of Aporia Consulting Ltd. and a faculty member in the Applied Psychology and Human Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE, UT), where he teaches in the Child Study and Education graduate program. He is the recipient of the OISE, UT- wide award for teaching excellence. Steven has a PhD in human development and applied psychology, with specialization in applied cognitive science. His areas of expertise include cognition and learning, teacher education, networked learning communities, leading professional learning, and evidence-informed decision making for school improvement. He has received the Governor General’s Medal for excellence in his field and has been involved in research and evaluation, professional development, and consulting with a host of educational organizations around the world. He is the author of several best-selling books, including Leading Schools in a Data-Rich World, Building and Connecting Learning Communities, Intentional Interruption, and The Intelligent, Responsive Leader.

Lisa Ain Dack photo

Lisa Ain Dack

Lisa Ain Dack is a senior associate at Aporia Consulting Ltd. and an instructor in the Master of Teaching and Master of Child Study and Education programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE, UT). She has a PhD in developmental psychol­ogy and education from OISE, UT, with a collaborative degree in developmental science. She is the 2017 recipient of the OISE, UT award for excellence in Initial Teacher Education. Lisa facilitates Leader Learning Teams in various school districts in Ontario, leads numerous research projects investigating learning teams, and is involved in research projects on assessment and evaluation. She also undertakes program evaluations at both the primary and secondary levels. In addition, she leads workshops for administrators and teachers throughout Ontario on Leader Learning Teams, professional learning, and data-driven deci­sion making. She is coauthor of the best-selling book Intentional Interruption. Lisa and her husband Jeff have three children, Sadie, Rachel, and Dylan.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Authors

1. From Activity to Learning

2. The (Very) Hard Work of Learning

3. The Problem With Professional Learning

4. How Do Focus, Collaborative Inquiry, and Instructional Leadership Enable Learning?

5. The Barriers: How Our Minds Get in the Way

6. Intentional Interruption





Price: $29.95
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.