Beyond the Workshop Model

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Businesspeople Having Meeting In Modern Open Plan OfficeLearning Forward ( is the new name for the National Staff Development Council, a really wonderful organization for teacher leaders, school administrators, and anyone who wants to learn more about effective practices for adult learning in relation to schools and schooling.

I just opened a box of books I’d ordered from them and found a great bookmark inside.  The bookmark title is, “If not a workshop, then what?,” and proceeds to list 30 alternatives for learning.  It’s a terrific list.  Here goes:

  1. Conduct action research projects
  2. Analyze teaching cases
  3. Be observed and receive feedback
  4. Join a cadre of in-house trainers
  5. Plan lessons with a teaching colleague
  6. Consult an expert
  7. Examine student data
  8. Be coached by a peer or an expert
  9. Lead a book study
  10. Visit another school
  11. Write assessments with a colleague
  12. Participate in a videoconference or conference calls with experts
  13. Do a classroom walk-through
  14. Given presentations at conferences
  15. Research on the Internet
  16. Lead a schoolwide committee or project
  17. Participate in lesson study
  18. Coach a colleague
  19. Be a mentor – be mentored
  20. Map your curriculum
  21. Join a professional network
  22. Use a tuning protocol to examine student work
  23. Maintain a professional portfolio
  24. Write an article about your work
  25. Observe other teachers teaching
  26. Read journals, educational magazines, books
  27. Participate in a critical friends group
  28. Do a self-assessment
  29. Shadow a student, a teacher or another professional in the field
  30. Keep a reflective log or journal

I might add a few more: develop an online learning presence (blog, tweet, develop a shared wiki resource, etc.), form a learning community – start small – at your school where you talk about teaching and student learning, and find ways to connect your students (and you) to people from around the world.

What would you add to this list?

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  1. Terry on November 17, 2010 at 2:43 am

    Gayle.. THESE ARE FANTASTIC! I could see these are part of a Broad Banding scheme. Could I borrow?

  2. Gayle on November 18, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Borrow away! They’re taken from Learning Forward, formerly known as the National Staff Development Council.