Society is asking more of our schools than ever in the history of the United States: asking schools to raise achievement to improve international economic competitiveness, shrink the opportunity and outcome gaps that plague our society, and make sure that each and every child is prepared for a future none of us can imagine. This will require that we educators continue to develop our capacity. Recognizing this, the Center provides professional learning to districts to meet the needs of a range of leadership audiences and purposes, and we offer professional learning in flexible ways, always tailored to the district context.
Professional learning for aspiring administrators and assistant principals
The Center provides participants with a problem-solving and inquiry-based approach to leadership, and equips them with the strategic leadership skills necessary to become effective principals, consistent with the Connecticut Standards for School Leaders. This work is typically structured as a community of practice (CoP) in which the participants drive the work, focused on improving aspects of their practice together in a collaborative setting. Related leadership development may be followed by onsite coaching and support. This professional learning often is topical, focused on key improvement areas identified by the district such as teacher evaluation, student-centered learning, high-quality instruction, differentiation, professional learning communities, and other topics as appropriate.
Professional learning for current administrators
This professional learning – aimed at sitting principals, teacher leaders, and others in leadership roles — enhances the instructional expertise of existing school leaders in order to raise student achievement in their schools. This work may address a multiplicity of topics identified by the district, including subjects such as:
- Teacher supervision and evaluation
- Student-centered learning
- High-quality instruction
- Professional learning communities
- Developing school-based teams
- Using data to improve instruction
Often, districts use professional learning to foster coherence, and to align leadership practice across schools. This professional learning may be embedded in existing professional- development structures, offered as communities of practices (described above), or provided through intensive institutes, again tailored to the needs and interests of the district. This leadership development may also be followed by onsite coaching and support.
Hallmarks of our approach to the work include assignments and discussions rooted in real work, focused on problem of practice, grounded in a cycle of continuous improvement, based on how adults learn best, and structured for shared meaning and collective problem solving.