Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Opinion
Education Opinion

Hope Is Not a Strategy

By Learning Forward — September 23, 2011 1 min read

As people dig into the newly released Standards for Professional Learning, they gain greater understanding of what is essential if we want to change educator practice and increase student achievement.

A key challenge associated with the Learning Designs standard is what I call “phase two design.” During phase two, educators make excuses for failing to select and implement learning strategies they know are essential to achieving desired outcomes. We all know the excuses -- no time, competing priorities, lack of resources, etc. I recall hearing an internationally recognized change expert recall a school district asking him to assist them in implementing a new literacy program. He drew a line down the middle of a chalkboard and indicated that the district must demonstrate its commitment to support learning during both phases of the change process. If the system was only committed to launching the initiative correctly, he would not work with them.

There probably are many educators who have not had opportunities to internalize I the significance of the Learning Designs standard. I have, however, had educators confide in me that they understand the importance of phase two design, but their work reality prohibits them from applying it. Some feel uncomfortable raising this issue with their supervisors and others in their school systems with more decision-making authority. With the release of the new standards, we must find the clarity of message and strength of action to ask tough questions when our decisions influence outcomes for adults and students. When it comes to designing learning for educators never forget to ask:


  • What is our goal?
  • What is our plan for meeting it?
  • Do we have sufficient commitment, resources, and design to achieve it?
  • If not, how do we get it or is it time to abandon this goal and choose one we can reach?

As I recently heard a superintendent say to a group of thoughtful educators, “hope is not a strategy.” Learning designs provide the guidance you need if you are truly committed to better results for adults and students. Try at all costs to avoid a phase two error. The cost is too great and recouping confidence in your recommendations and actions will be a challenge.

Stephanie Hirsh
Executive Director, Learning Forward

The opinions expressed in Learning Forward’s PD Watch are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
The 4 Biggest Challenges of MTSS During Remote Learning: How Districts Are Adapting
Leaders share ways they have overcome the biggest obstacles of adapting a MTSS or RTI framework in a hybrid or remote learning environment.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Human Resources Manager
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Communications Officer
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Hamilton County Department of Education
Special Education Teacher
Chicago, Illinois
JCFS Chicago

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read