Our Signature Process to Create a Culture of Adult Learning for Schools and Districts
Why build a culture of adult learning for educators?
An equity-focused approach involves educators learning continuously about the effectiveness of their practice. At Lead by Learning, our approach, Public Learning, has become one of the most powerful ways we help educators build and enrich adult learning in service of student learning.
Public Learning focuses on teachers’ learning processes. When teachers have the space, safety and skills to share uncertainties about their work, knowledge gaps, and nuggets of discovery, the outcome is deeper understanding of students’ current reality, and an affirmation of the uncertainty and complexity that are fundamental in teaching. Most importantly, learning becomes the centerpiece of powerful teaching.
Changing the Paradigm of “Best Practices”
Often, professional learning focuses only on best practices or sharing exemplary student work. That’s important. But it’s also critical for educators to spotlight and unpack the sometimes messy and frequently productive thinking that leads educators to those best practices. And that’s where Public Learning is so valuable.
Clear, Defined Steps. Real Dialogue Among Colleagues
Public Learning depends on dialogue between the Public Learner and their colleagues. This dialogue requires social and emotional support, so the Public Learner can be vulnerable, share uncertainty, and to be open to supportive challenge from colleagues.
Public Learning begins with the Public Learner thinking aloud about a dilemma, sharing appropriate data related to that dilemma, and then inviting colleagues to be thought partners around the Public Learner’s questions and uncertainties. After colleagues discuss what they notice in the Public Learner’s data and surface questions in a discussion to help the Public Learner move forward, the Public Learner has the last word, voicing how their thinking has shifted and what next steps they want to take.
An Equity Strategy at Work
Public Learning invites multiple perspectives on the student data presented by the public learner and the educator’s own thinking. It works as an equity strategy because all participating educators share the responsibility for supporting all students.
Creates a culture that welcomes the questioning assumptions and biases
Supports educators’ vulnerability as they question what is or isn’t working in their professional practice
Encourages educators to build their own knowledge about student learning, based on relevant student data
Download our Lead by Leading Playbook
Download our Lead by Leading Playbook chapter on public learning for step-by-step instructions to start public learning at your next meeting.