The Chalk Blog

Professional Learning Series: Reflection

5 FUN Ideas for Getting Your Professional Learners to Reflect

John Dewey once said, “We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.” Mr. Dewey understood the importance of reflection, and we know you do too! For example, after you teach a lesson, you probably analyze, re-analyze, and then reflect on your analysis. But if you are on the fence about reflection, consider the research on adult learning and reflection. 

Transformational Learning is described as a form of adult “…learning that changes the way individuals think about themselves and their world, and that involves a shift of consciousness.” (TEAL, 2011) A key component of Transformational Learning is provision of opportunities for participants to think critically and reflect. Additionally, Self-directed Learning, where adult learners take the initiative in learning, includes important components like self-evaluation of work and reflection. Finally, Experiential Learning, where participants experience the learning vs. memorizing information, ensures learners have a chance to observe situations related to the topic reflectively. 

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Professional Learning Model

Professional Learning Series: Application

Make Professional Learning Applicable to Your Participants

What would Ben do? (WWBD)

Ben (Franklin) was just down right smart. He once said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” This quote is often used when discussing educating children, but when you have a room full of adult learners, how do you get them involved?  

Well, WWBD? Ben would probably offer opportunities for adult learners to apply their learning. This is one excellent method to involve the learner.  

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Professional Learning Model

Professional Learning Series: Investigation

Using Investigation Strategies in Professional Learning

One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to watch ANY show about criminal investigation. Popcorn…check! Heavy blanket…check! Total control of the remote…check! I’m happy! 

Documentaries like The Making of a Murderer or The Staircase and other fictional TV shows like Criminal Minds are quite popular these days. There are an abundant number of podcasts on these topics as well. But why are these my favorite and why are they so popular? Here is my theory…people like problems and we like to work toward solving them which is, in essence, investigation. 

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Professional Learning Model

Professional Learning Series: Awareness

What is Awareness?

Merriam-Webster’s Definition of awareness: 

the quality or state of being “aware”: knowledge and understanding that something is happening or exists 

The Learners Edge Professional Learning model describes awareness as, “Analyzing prior knowledge and experiences related to the topic.” If we meld this idea with Merriam-Webster’s definition of awareness, we can begin to understand the importance of knowing and understanding that the learner already has knowledge or experience that exists specific to the topic at hand. Why is that important? Well, let’s check out the research! 

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Professional Learning Model

Professional Learning Series: It Starts with Intention

Establishing Learning Goals and Exploring Motivations

Learners Edge, founded by teachers for teachers, is passionately committed to providing fellow educators with continuing education coursework, materials, and tools that will help them succeed in the classroom and in their careers. With that, Learners Edge has completed a meta-analysis of research on adult learning theories, online education trends, and professional development best practice. This allowed for the creation of the Learners Edge Professional Learning Model. 

The model includes five elements to ensure adult learners experience quality personal and professional development and carry new knowledge into their classrooms. This will ultimately have positive impacts on their students. The components are as follows: 

  • Intention: Establish learning goals and explore motivations 
  • Awareness: Analyze prior knowledge and experiences related to the topic 
  • Investigation: Examine relevant, research-based resources to build personal and professional connections to the topic 
  • Application: Apply new learning through practical design, implementation, and collaboration 
  • Reflection: Consider the impact of new learning to influence and transform future professional practice 

While these elements are specific to Learners Edge professional learning, the same steps can be used to improve any adult professional learning opportunities and increase positive outcomes. This blog series will discuss the five components of the model specific to professional learning for teachers. Let’s start by digging into the first component, intention.  

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Topics: Teaching Wellness & Inspiration, Professional Learning Model

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