Professional Development for Educators

Bright Pace, Product Description: is an online collaborative curriculum and project design platform that offers educators flexibility and control over group formation and the hierarchical pathways that link them together. It tracks professional activity including discussions, unit and lesson development, reflections, the learning standards and PSEL, while promoting professional growth.

Bright Pace allows educators to generate and export professional activity summaries that reflect formal and informal career development for re-certification and the teacher evaluation process.

Our platform serves as a framework for organizational goals, including the Professional Standards for Educational Leadership. We serve K-12 Schools, Colleges, Trade Schools, Home-schools, and work with formal career development providers throughout the United States, and abroad.

Professional Development Research:

Bright Pace supports two essential teacher learning processes, enactment and reflection. These two processes according to Voogt et. al 2011, lead to long term long-term professional growth when applied collaboratively during curriculum design. Voogt et. al 2011 use the Clarke and Hollingsworth 2002 "Interconnected Model of Professional Growth" in their study to present their findings.

The process of "enactment" involves teachers working in collaborative curriculum design teams, where they develop and implement curricula and related products. "Reflection" is an evaluation process, where educators focus on product design, teaching practices, and curriculum outcomes.

Voogt et. al 2011 refer to long-term teacher growth in terms of sustained change and identify four areas in which it occurs: The "Personal" domain, where deeper subject knowledge and understanding occur. - The domain of "Practice," where teacher growth is the result of applying new strategies and practices. - The domain of "Consequence" which entails the teacher's ability to recognize and manage curriculum outcomes. - And the "External" domain, which involves teacher networking with colleagues and experts, making changes and acquiring new materials and resources to improve curriculum and instruction.

Research Overview:

1. Sustained or long-term growth occurs through the use of two essential processes , "enactment" and "reflection" during collaborative curriculum design.
2. Four Professional Growth Domains

    a. Knowledge -New beliefs and skills result in deeper subject understanding.

    b. Practice - New curriculum and methods are developed and applied.

    c. Consequence - Educators recognize and manage curriculum outcomes.

   d. The External Domain – Involves growth through the educator’s ability to acquire, process and apply information and stimuli acquired from outside sources: experts and materials, syllabi, online tools, networking, and collaboration.

3. Growth in each of the four domains is mediated by two processes - enactment and reflection

Professional Development Process – Getting Started:

Once the sign up process is complete, the "organization manager" creates groups by discipline, grade or standard level. The “organization manager” then invites teachers to join his or her organization. After the teacher accepts the invitation, his or her “account” is activated and he or she is assigned to one or more groups.

Once assigned, teacher "accounts" establish team goals and begin to communicate on the "Discussion Board", where they discuss course and lesson development, establish new practices, network, and apply learning standards. The Bright Pace “Professional Tracking” feature maintains a record of discussions, applied standards, created units, lessons, and journal entries. The tracking feature supports professional development, teacher evaluation and recertification.
The Journal supports teacher reflection and serves as a personal record. Teachers can attach "journal entries” to discussions; and vice-versa, and download them to a PC, Mac, or portable hard drive.

Professional Development Goals:

1. Establish clear teacher/group/student goals.

2. Participate in collaborative planning.

3. Acquire deeper subject knowledge and understanding.

4. Teachers apply their curriculum designs/ reflect and process outcomes.

    a. Utilize new curriculum designs and instructional strategies.

    b. Identify and manage curriculum and learning outcomes.

    c. Network

5. Be professionally challenged

Research Articles:

Voogt, J. J., Westbroek, H. H., Handelzalts, A. A., Walraven, A. A., McKenney, S. S., Pieters, J. J., & de Vries, B. B. (2011). Teacher learning in collaborative curriculum design. Teaching And Teacher Education: An International Journal Of Research And Studies, 27(8), 1235-1244.

Clarke D, Hollingsworth H. Elaborating a Model of Teacher Professional Growth. Teaching And Teacher Education [serial online]. January 1, 2002; 18(8):947-67. Available from: ERIC, Ipswich, MA.

Grimm, E.D., Kaufman,T. , Doty, D. 2014.Professional Learning: Reimagined ASCD - Volume 71 . Number 8. Pages 24-29

Little, J.W., 2006. NEA. Professional Community and Professional Development in the Learning -Centered School. University of California, Berkeley. Accessed from the internet 2/3/2016.

Gulamhussein, A., Center for Public Education "Effective Professional development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability". Accessed from the internet 2/3/2016.

Stephen Sawchuk Sawchuk, S. 2010. Full Cost of Professional Development Hidden. Education Week. Accessed from the internet 2/3/2016.

Research Articles (EBSCO) - Professional Collaboration:

Blask, F. (2011). Collaboration between general education teachers and related service providers. Online Submission.

Carney, K. (2011). Think outside the book. Learning & Leading With Technology, 39(1), 10-14. Carpenter, J. J., Dublin, T., & Harper, P. (2005). Bridging learning communities: A summer workshop for social studies teachers. History Teacher, 38(3), 361-369. Chao, I., Saj, T., & Hamilton, D. (2010). Using collaborative course development to achieve online course quality standards. International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, 11(3), 106-126.

Educational Research, S. (2011). Gaining ground in the middle school grades: Why some schools do better. A Large-Scale Study of Middle Grades Practices and Student Outcomes. The Informed Educator Series. Educational Research Service.

Greenspan I. (2001).Teacher collaboration and individualism In secondary school mathematics departments [e-book]. Available from: ERIC, Ipswich, MA. Accessed December 29, 2011. Juang, Y., Liu, T., & Chan, T. (2008). Computer-supported teacher development of pedagogical content knowledge through developing school-based curriculum. Educational Technology & Society, 11(2), 149-170.

Kenny, J. (2010). Preparing pre-service primary teachers to teach primary science: A partnership-based approach. International Journal Of Science Education, 32(10), 1267-1288. Levine, T. H. (2010). Tools for the study and design of collaborative teacher learning: The affordances of different conceptions of teacher community and activity theory. Teacher Education Quarterly, 37(1), 109-130.

Parsons, J., & Harding, K. (2011). Making Schools Work Better. Online Submission.

Robinson, M. A., & Consortium for Policy Research in, E. (2010). School perspectives on collaborative Inquiry: lessons learned from New York City, 2009-2010. Consortium For Policy Research In Education.

Waters, J. K. (2007). Online collaboration: Curriculum unbound!. T.H.E. Journal, 34(3), 40-48.

Zirger, B., & Privitera, M. (2009). New models of cross-disciplinary collaborative education. Metropolitan Universities, 20(1), 130-146.

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