Forming professional teaching communities that operate systematically
Teachers are lone actors – the door to their classroom is closed, and they learn largely from their own experience. They seldom attend professional development courses, because they do not value the contribution of outside experts who merely “run through the material.” Professional development that is offered to them typically reflects the approach that the important knowledge on teaching is not in the hands of those who work in the field. By contrast, in clinical professions, professional knowledge is built together, on the job and by the practitioners themselves.
To change this habit, the foundation aims to catalyze and assist the building of professional communities of teachers, led by master teachers. We believe that an effective professional community is one that systematically focuses on student learning, relies on documenting and analyzing the learning in classrooms and its interaction with teaching, formulates a shared and coherent instructional system, builds routines for monitoring students’ learning, and provides mutual assistance for improving the practice of teaching.