Professional Development & Adult Learning
While The Foundry will have a plethora of support systems in place, part of its magic is that it was created to build joy around the learning process. And this courtesy is extended to the faculty as well.
As adult learners, their needs are constantly shifting in similar and divergent ways from the students they serve. As a response, The Foundry crafted a Professional Development and Learning Committee to ruminate on different approaches to expanding pedagogical, pragmatic, social, and engagement strategies to be used within the classroom and in strengthening school culture.
Much of the discussion in the initial stages of this committee centered around offering choices with the topics of learning that could be offered for varying levels of interest and mastery. From there, the goal broadened into making adult learning constant (weekly and monthly throughout the year) as well as consistent (topics that don’t just go away after being introduced).
The learning process takes several iterations of concepts as well as time to experiment, ask questions, and adjust; in other words, to really take ownership. The aim of the committee is to build a program where presenters and participants determine a course of study that will evolve over the semester/year to meet the goal and needs of those in attendance. This collaboration is key.
The Foundry is a place where self-reflection is built into success. Teacher learning priorities need to be considered as crucial to an effective classroom. The opportunities where they have the ability to lay out areas of growth with other professionals will only lead to greater confidence in their teaching practices. In using data from a teacher survey, the following are topics of learning that will be explored throughout the year:
- creating effective small groups for differentiated instruction;
- using the technology in classrooms to their utmost potential;
- implementing a diverse curriculum;
- and building social networks amongst faculty.