The Shifts Aren’t Always Seismic

We hear so much about transforming education: it conjures a vision of lightning striking and suddenly everything is new. But, I wonder if transformation happens in small often imperceptible ways.

For instance, this article on open education resources is mostly about the concerns of commercial providers. But buried deep in the last paragraphs is a shift in how schools approach both teacher work and professional development:

The department official agreed that adopting open resources can require teachers and other staff to devote much more time to content selection and curation than they otherwise might. “It definitely takes an investment,” he said. But he said a growing number of districts are finding ways to pay teachers for that work. Some of them are redirecting existing money spent on professional development to do so.

Two big points here: paying teachers to do the work AND repurposing professional development funds. I’m hoping the latter means that they are also repurposing professional development, counting the work of review as PD.

Investing this time can lead to a better understanding of the curriculum:

Teachers and administrators said they gained a much stronger understanding of the curriculum, and they were heavily invested in making sure it made sense for their classroom peers and students.

Rethinking teacher pay and professional development could be one of those small changes hidden in larger conversations.

 

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