A new report by Ross Wiener and Susan Pimentel of the Aspen Institute makes the case for integrating curriculum into professional learning so teachers can focus on creating engaging learning environments, responding to the needs of their students, and continuously improving their craft.
Practice What You Teach: Connecting Curriculum and Professional Learning in Schools highlights the work being done by the Louisiana Department of Education, District of Columbia Public Schools, and West Virginia Teaching Lab to integrate the use of high-quality instructional materials with professional learning. It offers six key takeaways for how system leaders can embark on this journey, as follows:
- Curriculum quality matters a lot.
- Content-specific inquiry cycles improve practice.
- Culture eats structure for lunch.
- Teachers need time to improve instruction.
- Content experts should facilitate professional learning.
- System leaders have vital roles and responsibilities too.
The authors conclude: “Separating the work of implementing standards-aligned curriculum from the ongoing professional learning in which teachers engage is not only inefficient but also incoherent; it undermines the success of both. System leaders have a responsibility to intentionally weave these work streams together. By making these two parts of a whole, they can accelerate and deepen progress to the benefit of teachers and their students.”
To read the report, see: