Too often professional development programs use the expert workshop model where passive participation is a norm (Sparks, 1997). A selected expert lectures. Staff rate the speaker—not the training or the impact on their professional skills. Changes in practice are rare in passive learning environments. This is not the Knox training model!
Knox Educational Associates believe change relies on making connections—building relationships between people, concepts, and prior knowledge. School change requires a comprehensive system of professional development, which empowers staff to emerge, develop, and prosper as partners building a learning community through engaged interaction and discourse. Knox staff development supports an increase of knowledge, skills, and the capacity to perform well. It is an integrated process that translates immediately into classroom practice.
The Knox menu of services is extensive and responsive to site requests—we pride ourselves in providing services that are customized to each school’s particular situation, rather than a “one size fits all” program. It is possible to have an agent of the firm come to the school and develop an individualized program based on site observations in conjunction with council from site leadership.
Our instructional skill building programs provide a multi-faceted approach to training that includes:
Presentations: theory, demonstration, and application of research-based strategies—extensive use of video clips and photos bring practices to life
Demonstration lessons: use of the strategies with your students in your classrooms
Grade level or department collaboration: integration of the strategies with the site’s curriculum and pacing
Coaching: observations and feedback for individual teachers or teams to support changes in teaching and accelerate achievement
Development of customized tools: collaboration and data analysis tools, organization of curriculum pacing documents, student test chat forms, etc.
Recent topics include:
“Together is “Better”: transition to Common Core with integrated units for reading and writing
Year-long planning for Common Core in ELA using existing textbook material
Writing Intervention: differentiating instruction so that all writers can meet grade level expectations with the Common Core
ELD “all day long” and during the specific instructional block
Mike Schmoker (1996), the author of the renowned Results book states,“Data can help us confront what we may wish to avoid and what is difficult to perceive, trace, or gauge; data can substantiate theories, inform decision, impel action, marshal support, thwart misperceptions and unwarranted optimism, maintain focus and goal orientation, and capture and sustain collective energy and momentum.” Knox Educational Associates believe that data must drive reform actions.
Data are crude information. The goal of data analysis is to move crude information to knowledge.