Instructional Modules for Professional learning Responding to Opportunities and Valuing Educators (IMPROVE) is a peer-reviewed virtual professional development resource. Modules within the resource are collaboratively authored by candidates in their final semester of coursework in the EdD in Curriculum & Instruction at Gardner-Webb University and promote positive, data-informed, sustainable change in instructional practices or organizational structures to improve student learning at the K-12 level and beyond.
The learning cycle featured in the modules in this resource is based on the STAR Legacy Cycle developed by the IRIS Center (2013); http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/) and based on the work of Dr. John Branford and colleagues (National Research Council, 2000).
Denise Cyrus, Jill Douds, and Sara Newell
This site provides an overview of culturally responsive teaching philosophies and practices in order to make educators aware of the importance of having a culturally responsive mindset. This module also provides research, classroom practice resources, and thought-provoking videos meant to assist educators in using a culturally responsive mindset to improve their practices and positively impact all students.
Camey Whitt, Desirae Ball, and Jodi Witherspoon
The purpose of this professional learning module is to explore how PLCs can be strengthened by using data to support student learning. The goals of this professional learning module is that educators will understand and embrace the three big ideas that drive the work of an effective PLC: A Collaborative Culture, A Results Orientation, and A Focus on Learning.
Educators will develop the shared roles, responsibilities, and relationships within a PLC. Educators will be able to establish and measure the success of SMART goals that align with school and district goals. Educators will be able to answer the following four critical questions:
What do we want our students to learn? How do we know if they have learned it? How do we respond when some students don't learn? How will we extend the learning for students who have demonstrated proficiency?
LaToya Bridgers, Molly Dibble, Karen Garmon, and Carrie Sharp
The module is designed to assist teachers and educational leaders in navigating resources that will aid in parent outreach. Henderson, Mapp, Johnson and Davies (2007) give four core beliefs to build strong partnerships between the home and school: 1. All families have dreams for their children and want what is best for them, 2. All families have the capacity to support their children’s learning, 3. Parents and school staff should be equal partners, 4. Responsibility for building and sustaining partnerships between school and home rests primarily with school staff, especially school leaders. The module, based on those four core principles, provides tools to provide outreach through the lens of partnership, interaction, and feedback to and from families. This module will help educators in learning how to develop trust and understand the families that make up their school communities in the effort to foster comprehensive involvement and improve the overall culture of the school.
Jessica Floyd, Kendra Lynn, Lisa McCullough, and Chandra Morrow
The purpose of this module is to explore key foundation skills necessary for successful mentoring of novice teachers. Participants who utilize this module will learn the four essential components of successful mentoring--building trust, communication and collaboration, meeting the needs of diverse learners through cultural responsiveness, and building ownership, through student data. This module was developed for mentors working with novice teachers, but the essential components addressed can also be applied to veteran teachers as well.
The learning module is intended for use by all educators.
Karrissa Ebert, Cynthia Hutchings, Pamela Edwards, and Mabel Eliana Lamprea
The purpose of this module is to provide access to research and tools which can be used to differentiate lessons in a classroom for all types of learners. First, the module helps educators understand TPACK as well as why using technology with students is effective. Next, the module delineates the research and tools into 4 categories of learning, which allows educators to learn/ teach using tools specific for different learners. The module concludes by encouraging educators to practice using the tools with a group of learners and a content specific standard.
Meredith Lynch and Lindsey Weycker
The purpose of this module is:
To empower teachers in leadership development and leadership roles
To foster mutual respect and communication between adults working together
To encourage action research as a daily classroom practice
Alison H. Whitaker, Kathryn Pritchard, Erin Keene, and Kim Coleman
This module is designed to lead a collaborative group of educators through the process of designing and implementing an event or activity to increase the levels of family and community engagement in schools. The module presents current research supporting family and community involvement in schools. Learners are prepared to recognize potential barriers to increasing family and community involvement and methods to overcome those barriers.
Karen Conner, Ashton Coppley, and Betsy Furr
Effective questioning is essential for learning. This module will explore questioning for learning and critical thinking. This module was designed for use by teachers of all grade levels. It is intended for the benefit of teachers in designing their instruction and for the benefit of the students they teach. Participants in this PLM will consider the importance of which questions are asked, who gets to ask them, and what role they play in student achievement.