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ASCD’s Administrator-Targeted Resources Support Planning and Designing Professional Learning

Alexandria, VA—ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, will provide Connected Educator Month (CEM) resources this week focused on planning and designing professional learning, as a subtheme of the association’s overall CEM theme, Educator Professional Development and Learning.

This week’s resources are specifically targeted to administrators and school leaders to support their essential roles in developing professional learning opportunities that provide maximum benefit for all educators in their schools or districts. Many of the featured events and resources are based on the work of Pete Hall, an ASCD Professional Learning Services Faculty member whose strengths-based, coaching-oriented professional development model is designed to strengthen schools by simultaneously bolstering educators’ individual and collective capacities.

“For educators to get the most from professional learning experiences and seek further development, they must participate in programs that are well planned and expertly designed,” said Hall. “With the constant influx of new initiatives, ever-growing demands on educators’ time, and increasing pressure to succeed now, the need for accessible, high-quality professional development has never been greater. When we focus on simultaneously building individual and collective capacity, we can strengthen educator skill sets and, by extension, enhance the instruction our students receive.”

This week’s headline event is a free webinar presented by Hall on Thursday, October 22, 2014, at 3 p.m. eastern time. In this webinar, Capacity-Building: Linking Professional Development and Practice, Hall will discuss ASCD’s approach to capacity building within a school system and emphasize the reflective skills and technical proficiencies that enhance educators’ professional practice.

Hall also has several other resources aligned with the planning and designing professional learning subtheme, including

  • This morning’s post on ASCD’s blog, Inservice, in which he describes some of the considerations for designing effective professional learning opportunities and discusses how teachers’ and leaders’ capacities can grow, strengthen, and increase when professional development is properly planned and presented.
  • The book Building Teachers' Capacity for Success: A Collaborative Approach for Coaches and School Leaders, coauthored with Alisa Simeral, which is available at a 20 percent discount using the promo code CEM14 in the ASCD Store.
  • A free white paper, Making a Difference with Capacity-Building Professional Learning, which is available to all educators and provides strategies for cultivating teacher leaders to help facilitate professional learning.

In addition to these resources dedicated to capacity-building professional learning, two more special offers this week provide tools for school and district leaders who are building and designing effective learning environments:

  • The free white paper, Improve Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction Using the Understanding by Design® Framework, describes how Understanding by Design (UbD®) provides a practical way to transform standards into a teachable curriculum that emphasizes understanding and long-term transfer for students. Authors and UbD developers Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe provide answers to nine frequently asked questions about their framework, a list of additional resources, and more.
  • Bill Sterrett’s 100 Action Steps for Principals, based on his ASCD Arias™ publication Short on Time, provides immediate answers to the challenging question, "How do I make time to lead and learn as a principal?" Current principals and aspiring school leaders can download a free copy of these action steps to realize change in their professional life.

Originally developed by the U.S. Department of Education and its partners as part of the Connected Educators initiative, CEM offers diverse and engaging activities to educators at all levels. The goals of CEM include getting more educators proficient with social media to improve their practice, helping schools integrate connected learning into their formal professional development efforts, and stimulating innovation in the field. More information on the 2014 themes and calendar of events is available at

Find out how signature capacity-building models from ASCD Professional Learning Services can transform instruction in a school or district at Read more original content from Inservice at View all of ASCD’s books and publications at Learn about ASCD’s other programs, products, services, and memberships at