ILA Literacy Leadership Brief: Democratizing Professional Growth With Teachers

Screen Shot of ILA Literacy Leadership Brief (May 2018)

brief-coverAs teachers and teacher educators prepare for a variety of workshops, conferences, webinars, institutes, and other events this summer, I am pleased to share a timely publication I’ve co-authored with Misty Sailors of the The University of Texas at San Antonio: “Democratizing Professional Growth With Teachers: From Development to Learning.”

One in a series of Literacy Leadership briefs published by International Literacy Association, this brief begins:

In efforts to create classrooms that represent microcosms of U.S. democracy, teacher education encourages culturally sustaining pedagogies, development of the radical imagination of youth, the creation of personal and engaging learning experiences, and the use of authentic assessment that recognizes individual and collective growth, all within communities of practice. However, teachers themselves are not often afforded the same opportunities for their own professional learning.

Often, teachers must submit to the very type of instruction (e.g., in workshops, conferences, webinars) that teacher educators ask them not to use with their students. Teachers are not engaged as active learners with their own questions and goals. Instead, they are treated as if they need to be developed, an idea that we need to problematize, challenge, and reconsider if we wish to create empowering and equitable experiences with teachers. This shift requires that we democratize professional learning.

Read more here, please share widely, and let me know how you take up conversations about the shift from development to learning.


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Author: Troy Hicks

Dr. Troy Hicks is a professor of English and education at Central Michigan University. He directs both the Chippewa River Writing Project and the Master of Arts in Educational Technology degree program. A former middle school teacher, Dr. Hicks has authored numerous books, articles, chapters, blog posts, and other resources broadly related to the teaching of literacy in our digital age. Follow him on Twitter: @hickstro

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