Curriculum and Instruction
Educational research and best practices indicate that the most effective learning takes place in a challenging, engaging, supportive environment. Standards are high, expectations are clearly defined, and teachers allow students multiple pathways to achieve success. While content skills and knowledge are at the forefront, the learning net stretches wide enough to encompass materials from many different disciplines as well as 21st Century skills.
Understanding by Design embraces all of these elements by allowing students to make sense of both content and process. But in order for teachers to experience success with this paradigm shift in teaching and learning, they must experience it themselves. In order to achieve success in our classrooms, our professional development experiences must allow teachers to realize the power of relevance, engagement, and authenticity.
Over the past few years, members of the New Providence District community have found the most successful professional development workshops integrate topics relevant to teachers, give them time to collaborate, time for individual work, and provide ongoing support. In other words, in addition to providing teachers with current skills, our professional development program mirrors the optimum learning environment we want to provide for our students. Our professional development programs and district committees work within this philosophy of collaboration and support in order to establish a district-wide community in which all members have a voice and learning moves forward.
Sandra M. Searing
Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Supervision