ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, AND SCHOOL CHANGE
An Editorial by Alice Thomas, M.Ed.
Change. (chEnj) v. To cause to be different. To undergo transformation or transition. To become deeper in tone.
Michael Fullan, an international leader in the field of school change, challenged us in New Orleans in October with such topics as lessons in the complexity of change, assumptions about change, key strategies for reform, and interlocking recommendations from the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future. His message should ring throughout the topic of professional development and serve as a guidepost for the development of wise action plans.
The Center for Development and Learning is meant to be a catalyst for change and is action- oriented. As such, CDL has utilized the finest research from the educational, medical, and scientific communities to develop Learning Connections©, a three year school change program that revolves around extensive teacher in-service and support. I am extremely proud to report that Dr. Fullan stated that the Learning Connections© program is the strongest he has seen to date. Dr. Fullan will be consulting with CDL on the project through the year 2000. Call or write CDL for information on how individual teachers or school teams may participate in the Learning Connections© training.
Nationwide, there is a thrust for improvement in teaching teachers how to better teach our children. In this special edition, we are featuring two excellent articles that call for a hard look at teacher preparation and professional development. One is by Reid Lyon, a leading national researcher at National Institute for Health; the other is by John Michaelson, a principal of a middle school in California - a leader "in the trenches."
As a teacher, I urge my profession to demand both broader and deeper pre-service and in- service. It is very frustrating to know that you need to know more and yet not have access to more: more knowledge about learning, more information uncovered by solid research, more varied techniques and strategies for teaching, more collaboration and communication with fellow educators, more policing of our own profession, more public demand for excellence in teacher training. As a parent, I urge that we unite and support sweeping reform in teacher preparation. We cannot afford to lose one more child to our own ignorance.
I invite you to join the CDL and its mission to ensure a solid education for all children. We believe it begins with a revolution in how we teach teachers how to teach. The time is now and the responsibility is ours.