Re-igniting professional learning with a challenge to think

The first 10-15 minutes of any professional learning session provide an opportunity to set the stage for thinking, wondering, and sharing. Before you jump into the content, grease the participants’ thinking cogs by demonstrating a discrepant event. Here’s an example that we’ve used:

While a discrepant event is  a fun way to begin, the impact of activities can be fleeting, so provide some time for participants to explore the cognitive activity that the discrepant event provoked. Questions such as: What did they expect? What questions did the activity bring to mind? How did they explain the outcome? After the discussion, encourage your colleagues to keep a questioning and wondering mindset alive throughout the upcoming session.

Here’s another idea that begins a professional learning session with a focus on thinking and questioning. Here’s one of our videos that demonstrate the power of an ambiguous image.

Introductions to professional learning sessions such as these are designed to set the stage for learning. Once the stage is set for thinking, the content begins.

For more conversations about education, please visit: Beyond the Apple . . . Reframing Conversations in Education  or contact us at


About Beyond The Apple

Beyond the Apple provides everything a Professional Learning Community needs! Designed to follow Beyond the Apple's Tenets of Adult Education, our videos re-ignite the excitement of professional conversations among educators in the classroom, university, colleges and professional training. Our free teaching and learning resources provide a follow up with more information that is current, research based and practical.
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1 Response to Re-igniting professional learning with a challenge to think

  1. Pingback: Professional Conversation: Building a Positive Human Environment at School | Beyond the Apple

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