Professional Development | News

Learning Forward Unveils Free Common Core Professional Development Lessons

Nonprofit organization Learning Forward has released four free online professional learning units focused on implementing Common Core State Standards. "School-Based Professional Learning for Implementing the Common Core" is designed for school and district leaders to help teachers ready students.

The program is part of Learning Forward's "Transforming Professional Learning to Prepare College- and Career-Ready Students: Implementing the Common Core" initiative, which is supported by MetLife Foundation, Sandler Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

According to a news release, "The units are designed to help school-based leadership teams develop a shared body of knowledge about the procedures, processes, and structures involved in effective learning for educators, and to develop the skills needed to facilitate job-embedded, school-based professional learning." 

The four units are:

  • Managing Change, which addresses why and how people change their ways. This course is intended to help school leaders help faculty and staff improve teaching practices;
  • Facilitating Learning Teams, which focuses on team development and roles in order to accomplish set goals regarding the Common Core;
  • Learning Designs, which teaches school leaders to present to faculty and staff a variety of learning designs to enhance teaching and learning methods; and
  • Standards for Professional Learning, which zeroes in on the reasoning behind the Common Core standards.

Each unit comes with background readings, protocols, suggested strategies to reach school improvement plans, and other resources for administrators to help teachers in the implementation of the standards.

"The units will help guide me and my leadership team as we develop a plan of action to implement professional learning within our school," said Bryant Gillis, principal at Tichenor Middle School of Erlanger, KY. "We will begin by using the unit survey to self-assess our needs concerning professional learning."

For more information and to access the professional learning units, visit

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Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.