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The New Essential Elements of Professional Learning

In this brief we describe and illustrate three elements that our research shows to be the backbone of any serious approach to engage and prepare teachers for success with the Common Core: (1)Ongoing and active adult learning; (2) A focus on grade-level content; and (3) Aligned instructional practices and support in identifying and using high-quality, aligned instructional materials. The data that informed this research comes from interviews with a diverse mix of educators, service providers and professional development experts around the country.

We developed the brief with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as part of a series focused on CCSS professional development titled Common Core State Standards & the Transformation of Professional Development. The series is comprised of an introduction and three briefs providing school and system leaders and professional development providers with models for providing high-quality learning experiences.

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