We are pleased to share with you our recently published ASCD article! In this piece, we discuss how the science of learning can be used to make professional development meaningful and memorable.
by Marcus Conyers and Donna Wilson
Over two decades, our BrainSMART professional development program has employed a teacher-centered focus, with positive effects on teachers' reactions to training and their learning as well as organization-wide results. Our approach focuses on sharing principles and practices that teachers can readily apply in their classrooms (Wilson & Conyers, 2020). This practical element is key to making professional development stick. As Guskey (2002) states, teachers experience the most significant changes in their beliefs and attitudes after they begin using a new practice and observe the positive effects on student learning.
When we asked what teachers thought they most needed to learn, they asked for practical knowledge, skills, and strategies that could increase student achievement. Teachers identified the need for teaching practices, including how to assist students to think at higher levels, sustain positive engagement, and support students to transfer learning from one context to another (Conyers, 2017).