4 Cornerstones of Professional Learning

Stephanie Hirsh, who will be retiring from Learning Forward this June, has laid out four critical elements for educators to ensure professional learning improves results for all students.

4 Cornerstones of Professional Learning, centered on a foundation of the Standards for Professional Learning, shares research, evidence from practice, and reflections from Stephanie Hirsh’s career at Learning Forward, in schools, and as a school board member.

The cornerstones are:

  • Lead with equity. Equity and excellence in teaching and learning is Learning Forward’s vision statement and represents the inspiration, challenge, and essential purpose for pursuing more effective ways to serve educators and students.
  • Invest in team learning. For every student to succeed, every educator engages in collaborative, job-embedded learning to strengthen capacity and collective responsibility.
  • Leverage high-quality instructional materials. Educators use their learning time to understand high-quality instructional materials and prepare for implementation, advancing their potential to improve student learning.
  • Advocate with evidence. To sustain support for professional learning at all levels, educators equip themselves with data from research and practice. They share that data with stakeholders and speak up for their learning and that of their peers.

In addition to exploring each cornerstone, this paper offers focused actions for educators to take within their own contexts.

To download the white paper, visit https://learningforward.org/publications/recent-research-and-reports/4-cornerstones-of-professional-learning