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An Effective Framework
for Professional Development

A simple framework for a necessary process to effectively improve professional development.


The four elements shown reflect a novel and effective process for improving professional development in a school setting.


Defining a Paradigm

Exploring the What & Why


Survey & Summary

Beliefs & Behaviors



Modules & Coaching


Definition of Done

Empirically-derived Consensus


The four phases in this process are reflected in the graphic below as an intentional and transparent iterative cycle for improving the professional development of a school's administration and teaching staff. 



The goal of this framework is to increase persistence and reduce fade-out of a desired paradigm.

Persistence refers to "...adults staying in programs for as long as they can, engaging in self-directed study or distance education when they must stop attending program services, and returning to program services as soon as the demands of their lives allow." 

Source: Comings, J. (2007). Persistence: Helping adult education students reach their goals. Review of adult learning and literacy, 7(2), 23-46.


The initial phase, Defining Paradigm, involves an in-depth exploration into a desired paradigm that takes into account concerns and ideals of a school's leadership team in conjunction with community stakeholders to create a whole-school vision for how a shift in paradigm may best serve those most closely involved in the change process (the teaching staff and leadership).

Source: Marino, J. Jay. "A new paradigm for organizational change: Involving customers and stakeholders in the improvement process." The Journal for Quality and Participation 30.1 (2007): 10.

The two middle phases of this process, Survey/Summary and Interventions, when used as an intentional and transparent iterative cycle, is intended to promote a healthy environment for developing self-monitoring and peer-based celebration of growth within the desired paradigm. 

Gehlbach, H., Robinson, C. D., Finefter-Rosenbluh, I., Benshoof, C., & Schneider, J. (2018). Questionnaires as interventions: can taking a survey increase teachers’ openness to student feedback surveys?. Educational Psychology, 38(3), 350-367.'_openness_to_student_feedback_surveys

The final phase, Definition of Done, considers the persistent actions of a school's staff and leadership team in the context of shared criteria for success related to the desired paradigm.


Metacognition as an instructional theory (i.e. "metacognitive constructivism") is a key component of this framework. This concept is rooted, in part, in the work of Dr. Anton Tolman on student resistance:

"...student resistance is the outcome or result of a confluence of forces, including institutional context, faculty attitudes and behaviors, faculty reactions to student behaviors, and powerful forces that drive and shape student expectations and reactions." 

Source: Tolman, A. O., Kremling, J., & Tagg, J. (2016). Why Students Resist Learning: A Practical Model for Understanding and Helping Students. Herndon: Stylus Publishing.

The cycle of survey and intervention in this framework exploits metacognition as a means for promoting persistence by coaching habits related to self and peer reflection in the context of personal, social, and institutional factors, as they relate to the desired paradigm being adopted and adapted.


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