Finis Origine Pendet: The End Depends Upon the Beginning.
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I read this article on backward planning for professional development with interest. The author challenges us to consider the activity trap. He states, "Those who plan professional learning experiences often do exactly the same thing. They plan for processes, not for results. They ensure that the activities in which participating teachers will engage are job-embedded, contextually relevant, and perhaps based on results from the most recent teacher-needs survey. What's lacking is a clear notion of the purpose of those activities. Why are we doing this? What do we hope to accomplish?"
His suggestion is planing backwards. 1) Think about the desired learning outcomes, 2) determine which instructional practices are likely to produce the intended outcomes, 3) identify necessary organizational support, 4) evaluate current educator knowledge and skills, 5) determine the optimal professional learning activity.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about backward planning. How do you develop your PD?