Step into Practice: Lead by Learning Tools

The Practice of Public Learning

Supporting educators to create a generous, honest thinking space.

The practice of Public Learning is designed to help educators keep student learning at the center of their collaborative conversations. It is an opportunity to be metacognitive about teaching. When educators go public with the questions they have about their students’ learning and then share the data they collect to help answer those questions, learning becomes the centerpiece of powerful teaching. Public Learning is not a oneway street. It depends on a dialogue between the public learner and their colleagues. This dialogue requires social and emotional support—both to be vulnerable and share uncertainty, and to be open to Supportive Challenge from colleagues. Inviting multiple perspectives on the Public Learner’s student data is an equity strategy, as everyone shares the responsibility for supporting all students and helping the Public Learner see what they may not notice on their own.

Data Dig to Understand Learning

A routine to SEE your learners and ADAPT to MEET their needs.

To dig, you need data. What is the “right” data? Look around you. Everything you see is data, and therefore an opportunity to dig. In a data dig, you are not trying to prove something. You are not measuring. You are gathering information that helps you better understand your learners so you can help them learn. Data digs aren’t one-offs. Once you dig, you want to dig further, in new places, all the time. GOT SOME DATA? LET’S DIG!

Supportive Challenge: a collaborative practice to challenge thinking

Supportive Challenge talk moves are designed to assist collaborative and coaching conversations about student learning. They support colleagues to have equity-centered, anti-racist conversations in schools by paying close attention to how we talk and how we listen. When integrated and practiced between colleagues, Supportive Challenge helps colleagues honor each other’s hard work while also enabling them to examine the ways bias and values drive their actions to rethink and disrupt patterns that are producing inequitable outcomes. By reimagining “challenge” to be supportive, Supportive Challenge consciously builds Adult Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills in community to create the conditions for stronger adult learning cultures. This tool is designed to supplement any collaboration protocols and coaching conversations.

Making Sense of Goals Collectively

Research shows that students benefit when educators share a common understanding of what they are trying to do and why. Getting to a common understanding of a team’s equity goals does not just happen; it takes intentional moves from the facilitator or leader to help all colleagues not only feel bought into a goal but also understand how that goal shows up in their daily practice. This tool is a guide for a leader who wants to build that shared understanding on their team. The practice is not designed to help leaders choose the goal, but instead support leaders to build their team’s capacity to develop shared accountability to reach the chosen goal. The final page of this tool is an example educator response.

Learning Partnership Conversation for Adult Learners

An Adult Learning Partnership Conversation is an intentional opportunity for a leader of professional learning to gather data from their adult learners. Given the learning space the leader is thinking about, the adult learners may be fellow leaders, peers, classroom educators, support staff, Expanded Learning educators, or community members. While the conversation may be as short as a hallway talk, they are unique in that they require advanced thinking to help the leader identify a specific question they need help answering to inform their next steps.

The Practice of Public Learning en Español!

Apoyando a las maestras a crear espacios generosos y honestos para pensar.

La práctica de Public Learning está diseñada para ayudar a las educadoras a posicionar el aprendizaje de sus estudiantes en el centro de las conversaciones colaborativas. Es una oportunidad para ser metacognitivo sobre la enseñanza. Cuando las educadoras hacen públicas las preguntas que tienen sobre el aprendizaje de sus estudiantes y comparten los trabajos que recolectan de ellos para poder responder a esas preguntas, el aprendizaje se convierte en el punto central de una enseñanza poderosa.

Design Teams

A Strategy for Developing Distributive Leadership Through Adult Learning Design

More often than not, adult learning is planned in isolation by a single leader who is left to assume what the adults in their system need to improve. In taking this approach, an opportunity to develop distributive leadership and partnership is missed. Design Teams offer an alternative approach to designing adult learning, one where those receiving the learning are at the table with leaders. By bringing together a vertical slice of the system and celebrating the unique perspective, expertise, and priorities of each individual’s role, a leader can empower their team to collectively problem-solve for continual improvement. The practice is designed for leaders who are willing and ready to share power and distribute leadership through adult learning.

Focal Student Learning Partnership Conversation

A 15-20 minute data practice to center focal student voice in instructional design.

The Learning Partnership Conversation creates a pathway to equity by empowering students as partners in their education and positioning educators as listeners and learners. In focusing on the needs of a focal student, the educator can improve the learning experience of all students. This two-page guide is intended to support an educator before, during, and after the conversation. Have a question about instruction? Ask your students!

Facilitator Guide: Focal Student Learning Partnership Conversation

The Learning Partnership Conversation is a form of student data that is intentionally designed to facilitate deep listening between educators and students. It empowers students as partners and supports
educators to reposition themselves as learners. As a result, educators have an opportunity to move beyond initial assumptions or feelings to investigate further, guided by curiosity.

While the conversation itself happens between the individual educator and student, the implications for adult learning are what happens before and after the student conversation in partnership with colleagues.

This facilitator guide is designed to support leaders to bring Learning Partnership Conversations to their adult learning community.