Looking Outside: Learning about PD from Other Industries

PrintA recent report written by the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders and Learning Forward examines what teachers and educational leaders can learn about professional development from other industries. The education field has long recognized the importance of ongoing professional learning and growth opportunities, and recent policy priorities have underscored the importance of ongoing learning. Concerns about teacher shortages, a lack of diversity in the workforce, and inequitable student access to excellent educators have spurred increased focus on this issue.

Given the important roles of professional learning and growth opportunities, continuing to increase understanding of what makes professional learning high quality is critical. Our understanding of innovative professional learning practices is ever-evolving. This brief shares approaches to professional learning and growth from other industries that school and district leaders can leverage, and identifies which ones state leaders can support and encourage. Questions follow each section to help readers reflect on how the lessons learned might inform work in readers’ local contexts.

The report analyzes suggestions from five major fields that include: Law Enforcement, Psychology, Business, Medical Fields, and the Military. They offer eight specific approaches and  strategies, which include:

  1. Having a Growth Mindset
  2. Elevating Practice Using Technology
  3. Simulations
  4. Video Review, Reflection, and Coaching
  5. Ongoing, Role-Specific Training and Support
  6. Context-Relevant Training and Support
  7. Mentoring and Sponsorship
  8. Employee Resource Groups

For more information, read the full report.

For more information about these organizations, see Learning Forward and Center on Great Teachers and Leaders.