Two educators high-five at a University of Pittsburgh CUE professional development session

What Makes PD Innovative?

Traditionally, professional development for educators has been in the form of lectures and presentations in a dimmed auditorium on mandatory in-service days. The sessions can feel perfunctory and not entirely relevant. In a word, they can be boring.

Through the Professional Learning Collaborative working group, Remake Learning supported new and more engaging approaches to professional development to help educators achieve their own innovative potential.

School districts, colleges & universities, education service agencies, and others offer hundreds of professional development opportunities each year, including workshops, peer networks, one-on-one mentorship programs, and summer seminars–the vast majority of which are free. Hosted in classrooms, makerspaces, and online, each program strives to do for educators what educators do for students: instill a sense of wonder, possibility, excitement, and ownership of their own learning.

Calendars & Resources

About the Working Group

Remake Learning connects professional learning providers in the greater Pittsburgh region, allowing them to understand each other’s work, collaborate where appropriate, and develop projects that meet regional objectives too large for one organization to undertake alone.

In 2019-20, the Professional Learning Think Tank series welcomed professional development providers to an open reflection on professional learning in the greater Pittsburgh region. Four Think Tank sessions helped staff developers and professional learning leaders of all content areas and expertise connect and further their practice, in order to provide more engaging, relevant, and equitable professional learning to educators in the region:

  • Session 1 – Motivation: Reconnecting to the “why” of the work as a provider of professional learning.
  • Session 2 – Collaboration: Partnering on a professional learning “small bet” with other workgroup members.
  • Session 3 – Inspiration: Learning from local leaders and see how they’re transforming student experience through innovative professional learning.
  • Session 4 – Creation: Helping build the next iteration of a vision for the future of professional learning in our region.

Knowing not every teacher from every school can take advantage of regional PD opportunities, professional learning providers within the collaborative also worked to re-orient professional development around the idea of empowering internal teacher champions within schools who can:

  • Provide content expertise
  • Provide continuing “micro” trainings
  • Reach their peers who may not have been reached previously by off-site PD