Generative Professional Learning

Drawing from Generative Theory and a Model of Generative Change, the ALD4ALL project developed a Generative Professional Learning process for participating schools.

Generative Theory: The processes through which teachers and students develop voice, generativity, and efficacy in their thinking and practice (Ball, 2009, p. 66).

  • Stages of Generative Professional Learning
  • Clarity: Observing, Listening & Identifying
  • Ownership: Developing
  • Action 1: Customizing
  • Action 2: Planning
  • Efficacy: Implementing

Stage 1 CLARITY: We began the inquiry phase of the project with site visits, that involved classroom observations followed by interviews and focus group with parents, students, teachers, and administrators. We listened to their needs, wishes, interests, and inquiries about their school community. The data collected from these experiences was used to inform our collaboration and development of a professional learning action plan for their schools and programs.

Stage 2 OWNERSHIP: The professional learning plans were developed in collaboration with educators who remained engaged throughout the process. We learned from each other as we went along. The project schools were introduced to the effective practices framework we were using to study bilingual and multicultural education programs (BMEPs) in New Mexico. These effective practices provided the project schools with the same framework with which to self-examine their own instructional and systemic educational practices.

Stage 3 & Stage 4 ACTION: The professional learning action plan was customized for each local context and the list of effective practices were reviewed by each school in their action plan. The ALD4ALL inquiry team facilitated and differentiated each professional learning activity to provide a space for generative thinking about the areas of growth the school identified as needing support, in turn transforming their instructional practices to better meet the educational needs of their students. Each teacher created a Lesson Plan of Action. The ALD4ALL facilitator’s responsibility was to support the planning and share resources pertaining to culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy.

Stage 5 EFFICACY: When teachers implemented their plans of action, they were in effect combining theory, best practices, and their knowledge of their students and local community. Each professional learning session with an ALD4ALL facilitator allowed for collaborative reflection, problem solving and generative professional learning, all essential ingredients for becoming an efficacious teacher, and one who perseveres in improving the education of his or her students.

Ball, A.F. (2009). Toward a theory of generative change in culturally and linguistically complex classrooms. American Education Research Journal, 46(1), 45-72.