Learning Bets
Chapter: Preface to Learning Bets

Why I’m Obsessed with Learning Theory . . .and Why I Hope You Are Too

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-51-18-am
screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-56-03-amFor many years, I have worked with teams of people studying what’s happening in transformational classrooms—classrooms where we see students who are facing formidable challenges and injustices nevertheless on an enduring path to self-determined opportunity and leadership.  We are learning a ton about the visions of student success, student outcomes, and teacher actions and mindsets that enable students’ leadership in their own lives and communities.

And yet, we are not seeing wide-spread, at-scale improvements in student learning that correlate with how much we are learning about what it takes to lead transformational classrooms.  Why, if we are learning so much about what is required to lead transformational classrooms, are we not seeing many more teachers leading more student progress? 

This “provocation paper” explores one possible answer to that question:  we are inhibiting the progress of our students by perpetuating lack of clarity and purpose in how we grow our teachers.  When and how should our teachers be reading, watching, practicing, reflecting, analyzing, discovering, imagining, writing, or questioning?  How do we choose among the infinitely varied ways that we can support our teachers to grow?screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-45-38-am

The Global Learning & Leadership Lab at Teach For All brought together a collection of thoughtful experts and practitioners for a “Roundtable” to explore the question “How Do We Best Grow Great Teachers?”  Many, many thanks to those critical friends who have helped inspire much of what is in this resource.  [You will “meet” those critical friends throughout this document.]

In the following screens or pages you will find experiences and insights informed and inspired by those experts and practitioners.  You’ll be asked to “take a stand” on different assumptions we are all making (often without thinking about them) about how we grow teachers.  You’ll reflect on what factors are influencing your current “learning bets.”   You’ll be asked to consider your organization’s identity, some of the field’s best practices, and your own practical realities to help make your learning bets with teachers more intentional, clear and explicit.  You’ll be asked to explore ways some other organizations are considering those questions.

This provocation paper is a series of disorienting experiences and emerging insights that we hope will help teacher developers make more intentional choices as they work to support and grow transformational teachers.screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-45-52-am

We—and the broader education landscape—share a problem.  Our assumptions about how our teachers grow are often implicit, unclear, contradictory, and unexamined.  At the same time, we in the Teach For All network have have an unparalleled opportunity.  Teach For All and its network of innovative, entrepreneurial, learning organizations is well positioned to be a catalyst and clearinghouse for learning how we can best grow transformational learners and leaders.

with ganas,

Steven Farr


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[…] ‘provocation paper’ explores one possible answer to that question:  we are inhibiting the progress of our students by […]

Maria Kurisoo
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It seems that the there’s another PDF document attached here – it’s the Big ideas not Learning Bets. So “Download Paper” button doesn’t really work the way it was itended to 🙂