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).
Mallory Bricker, Gwendolyn Johnson, and LaShaunda Plain-Mamon
This module was created to assist instructional coaches, curriculum facilitators, peer coaches, assistant principals, or anyone in a leadership position to help teachers grow professionally. You, the instructional coach or leader, have expertise in content, andragogy, pedagogy, and communication. However, as instructional leaders, we have all come up against the teacher unwilling to participate in the coaching process. According to Lancaster (2016), the challenges that instructional coaches encounter are "teacher resistance to coaching support, scheduling conflicts, ill-defined roles and responsibilities, lack of administrative support, and teacher reluctance to change" (p. 23). No matter the reason, through this module you will explore relationship building resources that will assist you in breaking through those barriers and improving not only your professional capacity as a coach but that of your coaches.
Anna Coats, Shaunee Howard, and Kevin Ward
The purpose of this PLM is to provide a conceptual framework for effective collegial feedback and to enhance the educational process. It was devised to empower individuals through building capacity in identifying possible obstacles to effective collegial feedback and to acquaint individuals with resources and strategies to overcome obstacles in collegial feedback. This PLM was designed for educators who have to provide feedback, including mentors, instructional coaches, and peer observers. Because it aligns with the adult learners’ ways of knowing, it is geared toward those who give feedback to adults rather than K-12 students.
Gail D. Gallman and Kelsey J. Gibson
This Professional Learning Module is designed to provide educators with the resources and skills to move their classroom interactions from engaging students to empowering students. The module focuses on six levels of student empowerment that focus on the whole child: intellectual, emotional, behavioral, physical, social, and cultural engagement. Throughout the module, educators will be provided with a series of activities that provide the educator with the opportunity to reflect on and engage with the strategies as they are represented in their own classrooms.
Judith Mills, Pamela Moore, and Alisha Privette
The purpose of this professional development module is to improve knowledge and skills in order to facilitate individual, school-wide, and district-wide improvements for the purpose of increasing academic and social achievement of students with disabilities in the inclusive setting.
Restorative Practices: An Introduction to a Positive, Research-Based Alternative to a Punitive Discipline System
Mindy Duckworth, Bianca Jeffries, and Kelli Passmore
The purpose of this professional learning module (PLM) is to introduce educators to a positive, research-based alternative to traditional punitive discipline systems and encourage research-based practices to improve behavior. This module is intended to be completed individually.
Charli Kinard, Tieshia Pickett, and Anastasiya Shchetynska
Equity is a complex topic that encompasses many facets of leadership, education reform, and socio-economic issues. This module offers district and school leaders an introduction to equity and the conditions that create equitable school environments. The module provides educational leaders with strategies based on equity frameworks and research-based high-leverage equitable practices to implement in order to begin equity work at their sites and help teachers meet the needs of all of their diverse students. See the additional resources section at the end of this module for links to tools for assessing equity, creating action plans, and seeking support for improving the conditions that reduce opportunity and achievement gaps and establish equitable learning environments for diverse students and staff.
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?