Edina Cohort: Embedded Professional Development
Our most successful inservice venture has been our partnership with the Edina Education Fund to provide our Certificate in Teaching Writing and Critical Literacy for 18 Edina teachers (K-12).
As shown in the following chart, this cohort of teachers has now completed 8 credits together. Fourteen of the teachers have participated in our Invitational Summer Institute, with the remaining four to join us this summer. Teachers have completed together courses on the writing workshop, digital media, and assessment, and are now embarking on additional choices for their capstone course in which they conduct their own action research and their individual university course selection.
The cohort has been critical in building collaboration between grade levels, elementary to secondary, and across schools. It has provided teachers with a new and sophisticated way of thinking about 21st century literacy skills and helped them become teacher leaders in interpreting the new CORE standards within a 21st century framework.
When asked how the cohort is influencing system change beyond individual teachers' classrooms, teachers identified the following:
• We have a strong representation of cohort members on all the Curriculum Design Teams for the Language Arts Review (K-5 and 6-12). Fourteen of eighteen cohort members hold leadership positions in that process by serving on a Design Team. The remaining four cohort members are acting as specialist consultants for Special Education, Interventions, and English Language Learners.
• The discussions we have started to have across the district are impacting our colleagues' thinking. 100% of the teachers serving on the Design Teams (cohort and non-cohort teachers) listed improving writing in Edina Public Schools as their priority when implementing the new standards.
• This cohort will help us put in place a well-designed and articulated E (Early Childhood) to Grade 12 curriculum.