The first 10-15 minutes of any professional learning session provide an opportunity to set the stage for thinking, wondering, and sharing. As soon as participants enter, before the session is even scheduled to begin, invite them to put on their thinking caps and wonder about a few intriguing questions and ideas.
Literacy Coordinators beginning a Professional Development session with an opportunity to share ideas about intriguing questions.
Click here for a ideas that offer invitations to think, to question, and to share.
After these initial conversations, encourage your colleagues to keep that questioning and wondering mindset alive throughout the upcoming session.
Or, you can wait until the participants have finished their pre-session coffee and are ready to begin. 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 – the activity is simply the grease that gets the wheels turning.
Once the stage is set for thinking, the content begins. To help you plan professional learning sessions that engage and respect the participants, we offer the following Tenets of Adult Education.
We’ll discuss these tenets further in a future Beyond the Apple Extended conversation. Stay tuned!
For more professional conversations about education, please visit:Beyond the Apple . . . Reframing Conversations in Education or contact us at Beyondtheapplecontact@gmail.com