Good Spirit School Division

Team Members: Andrea Hnatiuk, Jan Neibergall, Susan Robertson, Tracy Huckell, Charlotte Raine, Susan Muir.
Community: Canadian Year 1, 2010-2011

Good Spirit School Division’s Powerful Learning Practice cohort is a connected network of instructional coaches whose mandate is to deliver teacher professional development. The modality and efficacy of service delivery for professional development was examined in the action research project. The desired outcome is to influence teacher instruction and student learning by modelling current and best practices.

What are the implications of using 21st century learning tools/skills in the delivery of professional development? We wanted to investigate efficacy in our delivery of professional development.
The desired outcome is to influence teacher instruction and student learning by modelling current and best practices and provide teachers with professional development opportunities that will influence their practice and have positive impacts on student learning. Evidence:

  • increase in teachers accessing wikis and blogs beyond professional inservice days
  • increase in teachers integrating technology in their learning plans
  • increase in teachers blogging
  • instructional coaches collaborative community and networking displays growth
  • connected classrooms within and beyond the division via web 2.0 tools
  • provide teachers with choices regarding professional development when attending inservices
  • increase in teachers as active participants in professional development
  • students are using web 2.0 tools to support their learning
Instructional coaches began by modeling best instructional practices when professional development opportunities arose and integrated technology into their own practice. It is believed that teachers would be influenced by coaches modelling and use of 21 century skills and learning through the variety modes of professional development. There was continual integration.
  • adult learning takes time and happens at different rates with various rates of impact on instruction
  • adult education models of learning need to be considered when coaching and influencing change in practice
  • teachers have a strong preference to use Web 2.0 tools in professional development settings
  • instructional coaches’ jobs were made more efficient and effective by using web 2.0 tools.
  • inservicing and professional development were consistent and accessible by all coaches and teachers.
  • learning is continual, can happen through collaboration (f2f, virtual), and can happen at anytime
  • learning can be messy and challenging, but with perseverance, collaboration and a desired outcome, success and results can be achieved
  • continuation of analyzing and implementing professional development delivery for efficiency (ie: cost, travel time) and effectiveness
Visit the team’s glogster for more details about this action research project – Examining the Efficacy of Professional Development.


About Action Research Projects

Action research is a process in which Powerful Learning Team members collaboratively examine their own educational practice systematically and carefully. Action research is:

  • Disciplined inquiry into a problem or possibility within the school or classroom
  • Collaborative and usually takes place in a community of practice
  • Meaningful, positive, and reflective
  • Data-driven, action-based, improvement-focused
  • Transformative
View all Action Research
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Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice. She works with schools and districts from around the world helping them to infuse technology into their curriculums and by leading other digital conversion efforts. Sheryl also consults with governments, educational organizations and non-profits in development of their various professional learning initiatives. Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics related to digital and online learning, teacher and educational leadership, online community building, and other educational issues impacting children of poverty. Sheryl served on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors for six years. She co-authored The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age with Lani Ritter Hall. Sheryl has four children and four grandsons, Luke, Logan, Levi and Tanner and a trio of dachshunds. You can find out more on her blog and on Twitter @snbeach.

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