Research

Continuous Improvement in Practice

"If we are successful, continuous improvement could become a part of the fabric of our
education institutions, in which educators model for our students the mindsets, skills, and
behaviors that support true learning."

Teacher Leaders Building Foundations for Data-Informed Teacher Learning in One Urban Elementary School

"Teacher Leaders used the Mills Teacher Scholars meetings to expand teachers’ responsibilities and to strengthen their professional judgment (Wood, 2007) to, in essence, take expertise back into their own hands. This required learning and growth by both the TLs and their colleagues. The teachers began to recognize their expertise, to work towards developing their professional voice as urban school teachers, and to engage in continuously learning about their students’ learning and their own teaching. The TLs worked to support the teachers in this work that required restoring a learning context where all teachers’ knowledge was encouraged and valued."

Beyond PD: Teacher Professional Learning in High-Performing Systems

"For all of these people, professional learning is central to their jobs. It is not an add-on. It is not something done on Friday afternoons or on a few days at the end of the school year. Teacher professional learning is how they all improve student learning; it is how they improve schools; and it is how they are evaluated in their jobs. They work in systems that are organized around improvement strategies explicitly anchored in teacher professional learning."

Effective Teacher Professional Development

"In the end, well-designed and implemented PD should be considered an essential component of a comprehensive system of teaching and learning that supports students to develop the knowledge, skills, and competencies they need to thrive in the 21st century. To ensure a coherent system that supports teachers across the entire professional continuum, professional learning should link to their experiences in preparation and induction, as well as to teaching standards and evaluation. It should also bridge to leadership opportunities to ensure a comprehensive system focused on the growth and development of teachers."

Using a Teacher Leadership Network to Support Leadership Development

"Specifically, we documented how the Mills Teacher Scholars Teacher Leadership Network meetings (a) offered safe thinking spaces that positioned teachers as intellectual professionals who could socially construct knowledge and learn together, (b) allowed teachers to surface and name the complexities and uncertainties inherent to teaching that would undoubtedly arise as they sought to facilitate learning communities at their school sites, and (c) provided guidance for teachers through a parallel process, that is, modeling for them and supporting them in experiencing firsthand what they would be responsible for enacting and scaffolding with their teaching colleagues."