Professional Development Review: Learning Leaders

This review examines the professional development (PD) approach designed specifically for the eight Henrico County schools participating in the Learning Leaders initiative. Its two components were: the PD Academy—the vehicle for providing formal trainings and professional development workshops for all Learning Leaders educators; and on-the-job coaching, which provided teachers and administrators with informal professional development. Findings show that the Learning Leaders PD approach in general, and its school-based instructional coaching model in particular, were successful in meeting the district’s instructional improvement objectives for Learning Leaders. The data suggest that the PD approach effectively built teachers’ capacity to set, analyze, and interpret ambitious individual student learning targets that contributed to enhanced achievement. It also promoted a collaborative and “safe” school culture where teachers readily shared their instructional approaches and challenges with their colleagues in the interest of enhancing overall student learning gains.