Intentionality in Professional Development : Collaboration Across Centers and Cities

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Intentionality in Professional Development : Collaboration Across Centers and Cities. Sharon Carver & Carla Freund Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Christi Chadwick & Tanya Woods City Colleges of Chicago. Participants & Programs. Names & Roles Program Types Existing Collaborations - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Intentionalityin Professional Development:Collaboration AcrossCenters and CitiesSharon Carver & Carla FreundCarnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh

    Christi Chadwick & Tanya WoodsCity Colleges of Chicago

  • Participants & ProgramsNames & Roles

    Program Types

    Existing Collaborations(especially re: Professional Development)

  • Vision for Your ProgramWhat is the ideal re: professional development for your team?

    What obstacles are you facing?

  • Goals for Todays SessionShare possibilities and practicalities of collaborating to intentionally improve professional development across centers & citiesSupport intentional visioning and planning of specific steps to initiate or strengthen collaboration re: professional development

  • Alcoa Collaborativefor Early Childhood Prof DevLaunched in 2000 by the Alcoa Foundation to consolidate efforts among five diverse centers of excellenceSupported by $50K funding and a consultantGuided by center directors collaborativelyInitial three years of familiarization, trust building, designing professional development offerings for the community, and significant administrative changes at two of the centersStrategic planning in 2003 yielded clearer vision, plus a focus on center staff involvement

  • Alcoa Collaborativefor Early Childhood Prof DevVISION: To create long term systemic change in the profession of early childhood education through world class professional development.

    MISSION: The Alcoa Collaborative distinguishes itself in early childhood education by utilizing best adult learning strategies, exploring multiple perspectives in the field, and implementing a range of delivery models, all tailored to diverse participants through the region and state.

  • Alcoa Collaborativefor Early Childhood Prof Dev

    Childrens School, Carnegie Mellon Center for Early Education, Shady University Child Development Center,

  • Alcoa Collaborativefor Early Childhood Prof DevCommunity Professional DevelopmentPlanning Team of DirectorsAlignment with PA System & Core Body of KnowledgeSeminars for directors and teachers at local and national conferences Annual Leadership Conference (4 years)Initially grant funded, then tried once with center funding (doubled as staff development)

  • Alcoa Collaborativefor Early Childhood Prof DevPartner Professional DevelopmentPlanning Team with Directors & EducatorsWhole Staff KickOff Event (June, 2004)Open Houses / Walk & Talks / RoundtablesBook ClubsSite VisitsSpecial Interest GroupsWhole Staff TrainingTom Hunter (August, 2005)Rosamund Zander (November, 2006)

  • Alcoa Collaborativefor Early Childhood Prof DevImpact of the CollaborativeVariety of successful approachesBreadth of interest & equality of participation across educator levelsRelationships between educators within and across centersValue of voice / choiceProfessionalism motivates participation, which spreads & is self-perpetuating

  • Alcoa Collaborativefor Early Childhood Prof DevChallenges of the CollaborativeSlowness and difficulty of processAmount of administrative overhead, esp. for communication & documentationCoordinating calendarsFinding sustainable funding

  • Alcoa Collaborativefor Early Childhood Prof DevNext Steps for the CollaborativeExplore ways to cover low cost professional development via center budgetsExplore connections with PAEYC to fund professional development and expand outreach in the communitySupport partner centers through the re-accreditation processTry a directors book club (using The Visionary Director)

  • City Colleges of ChicagoChild Development Studies InitiativeLaunched in 2003 with the support of a grant from the McCormick Tribune Foundation to enhance quality of academic degree programs and lab centers through intentional and collaborative planningGuided by the leadership of the Initiative team, center directors, and facultyScope of the InitiativeSeveral workgroups targeting various aspects of the Initiative Collaboration among 6 academic programs and 5 lab centers

  • CCC CDSI: Lab CentersInteraction Before the Initiative

    Center directors met to discuss issues pertaining to compliance and financeMeetings largely reacting to current crises.Professional development very limited and operated at the center levelManagement vs. Leadership

  • CCC CDSI: Lab CentersLab Center Workgroup

    Workgroup Composition Directors, 1 faculty member per college and Initiative teamInitial GoalsDeveloping a shared mission and visionIndividual center strategic planning

  • CCC CDSI: Lab CentersVision of the lab centersThe City Colleges of Chicago Laboratory Centers are recognized citywide as high-quality model programs, as well as demonstration and training sites that serve CCC faculty, students, children and teachers of the Colleges and community.

    CommunityRelationship with Academic ProgramHigh Quality Centers

  • CCC CDSI: Lab CentersWhat Have We Done?

    Forum for conversations about quality and intentionality in practicePlan collaborative professional development experiencesReflect on individual center planning and progress

  • CCC CDSI: Lab CentersWhat Have We Done?

    In CollaborationWalk & TalksOpen HousesAll center staff training (2-3 x per year)Annual retreatLeadership opportunitiesIndividual Center LevelStrategic PlanningIn-depth ECERS training and assessmentsProfessional ConferencesCustomized consulting

  • CCC CDSI: Lab CentersImpact of the Initiative

    What WorkedIncreased focus on quality and intentionality in practice: Why, What and HowCollaboration led to motivationDirector levelTeacher levelTrust, increased overall collaboration, seeing one another as a resource Leadership developmentConsultants as partners

  • CCC CDSI: Lab CentersImpact of the Initiative

    Challenges We FacedSome staff resistant to changeClosing centers for training difficult because of college schedules and requirements of funding agenciesLabor union issuesVaried levels of quality among the centers and within the centersTurnover among directorsLimited faculty participation in the workgroup

  • CCC Child Development Studies InitiativeImpact of the Initiative

    What Surprised UsDirector conversation became more focused on intentionality and reflective practiceTeachers began to forge partnerships across centersRecognizing that money does not solve all problemsEmbracing change: its S L O W E R than you think

  • Pgh - Chicago CollaborationInspiration at NAEYC in June, 2005Critical timing for the CCC Initiative because we were ready to take steps, but were not sure what the next steps were.

    ALCOA presented a collaboration that was successful and more experienced

    Chose to explore ALCOA further as a potential model for our future work

  • Pgh - Chicago CollaborationChicago to Pittsburgh Visit 1Conceptualized initially as a fact-finding tripStructure of the VisitTour of the centersParticipation in a Alcoa activity (Book Club)Participation in Alcoa director meetingOpportunity for discussion and questions with center directors

  • Pgh - Chicago CollaborationChicago to Pittsburgh Visit 1Our ReactionsSurprise - What quality centers and success of the Alcoa Collaborative!Awe - How could we get our centers and collaborative to the same level of success?Sadness There is no way we can become that! Hope Are there a few specific practices that we could adopt? Sharing the NewsCommunicating our experience to the workgroupOvercoming resistance to change and defensiveness about comparing ourselves to othersFinding success through small steps, starting with the Walk and Talks.

  • Pgh - Chicago CollaborationChicago to Pittsburgh Visit 2Conceptualized as a way to inspire the directors and faculty Initial hesitation from the directors why make time for this? Structure of the visitCenter toursEvening with Alcoa directorsParticipation in Alcoa Leadership Conference

  • Pgh - Chicago CollaborationChicago to Pittsburgh Visit 2Our ReactionsExcited, energized, enthusiasticMotivated to do more, be more, share moreSharing the News, and Planning for ChangeDirectors returned to their centers to share what they learned with their center staffWorkgroup planned meetings, events, and datesRealitys Effects on EnthusiasmAs time goes by, enthusiasm fades Status quo and daily life delay event planning

  • Pgh - Chicago CollaborationChicago to Pittsburgh Visit 3Conceptualized as an educational and motivational opportunity for teachers

    Structure of the VisitCenter toursLunch with other teachersAttending teacher presentationsReflection

    Bumps in the RoadNot adequately prepared for what and why they were there

    Inexperience with travel and professional development led to incongruent expectations about the trip

    Centers did not always send the best candidates for the trip

  • Pgh - Chicago CollaborationChicago to Pittsburgh Visit 3

    Teachers ReactionsExcitement, enthusiasm, great interestFelt somewhat overwhelmedWished they had more time with teachers, instead of directorsWished they had more unscheduled time

    Importance of ReflectionProcess experience through writing and discussionPrepare what to share upon returnGave trip leaders a better understanding of the complexity and diversity of teachers responses

  • Pgh - Chicago CollaborationChicago to Pittsburgh Visit 3

    Resetting ExpectationsEveryone is in a different place in terms of professional development

    Teachers all gained something from the trip, but not necessarily what I though


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