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Resources for Liaisons: Whole-School Reform Courses

Click on the course title to read the course descriptor. 

PLN1: School Leaders-Leading to Positively Impact Student Literacy, (PLN 1, PreK-12) (EDCE649)

To be effective catalysts for the development of professional learning communities in their districts, school leaders must analyze, evaluate, and synthesize the most current thinking related to leadership, literacy, and change.  They must explore, learn and model best practices in literacy strategies and instruction across all grade levels and subject areas and there must be special importance given to teacher involvement in this process.
PLN 1 for School Leaders integrates the best research-based PLN practices in leadership standards, change theories, and literacy strategies to increase student engagement, reading and writing proficiency, and achievement.  School leaders learn and practice various approaches to help them establish literate school environments grounded in problem solving, critical thinking, logical reasoning and The State Standards.  They employ practical techniques to investigate and connect content in all subject areas to real life experience.

PLN19: Seminar for School Coaches, (EDCE639)

This seminar focuses on the development of the personal and cognitive skills necessary to the role of coaches in improving classroom instruction. The seminar presents practical, research-based strategies tied to reading, writing, talking, and listening across the content areas to build confidence and provide a supportive framework for the work of coaches. The seminar helps participants define and shape their roles in relation to the district's goals and expectations. Emphasis is placed on successful models of collegial observation and feedback, with a focus on pre-and post -visit conferencing, trust building, and addressing how best to work with a colleague to improve instruction. Topics include strategies for co-teaching, the integration of demonstration lessons, facilitating pre- and post-visit focus group discussions, curriculum problem solving, and presenting to and interacting with colleagues in professional learning opportunities. Participants work through a variety of active scenarios designed to provide opportunities to role-play and model with colleagues while building trust and positive group dynamics. Participants are required to actively envision, build, and practice their crucial role in supporting literacy and numeracy in their schools.

PLN 20: Curriculum Backmapping (EDCE634)

The ultimate goal of any educational program is to ensure access to high quality curriculum and instruction for all students in order to meet or exceed content standards. This seminar is designed to help teachers develop focused, practical, and challenging curricula that integrate PLN frameworks to meet the needs and goals of students, teachers, and districts. Curriculum design is best accomplished through school-wide teacher reflection and discussion that brings about a coalescing of vision and reality. This seminar utilizes back mapping as the strategy to best facilitate this process, and entails systematic realization of a goal by working backwards from that goal. The PLN model merges the ideas of Hayes-Jacobs’ Curriculum Mapping and Wiggins and McTighes’ construct of Understanding by Design to merge performance assessments, The State Standards, and the PLN instructional framework to build focused, rigorous, creative, and engaging curricula.  In this model, assessments drive instruction and course designers are challenged to consider not only what to teach, but why and how to teach successfully.