There is a wealth of literature on the power of PLCs (professional learning communities) as contributory to faculty growth. The Master Teacher Program (MTP) at Kirkwood Community College is a form of PLC, whereby faculty grow through their collective efforts on the Kirkwood faculty competencies as related to student success.
MTP Year 1: Introduction to Competency-Based Professional Development
MTP 1 has experienced a redesign this year with an increased focus on faculty self-growth. Following the competency based model of know/do/share, this group of faculty are growing together by sharing student engagement practices. The discussion forums on Talon are alive with faculty reflections and artifacts. This cohort has paid special attention to the competencies of instructional planning, instructional strategies, and assessment. This Spring they will focus their design work on classroom management, teaching with technology, and diverse learners.
MTP 2: Teacher as Designer
MTP 2 faculty are working on integrated course design. Informed by Dee Fink’s work, integrated course design leads faculty into a thoughtful analysis of their current practices and discussion regarding course redesign opportunities. This work aligns particularly well with the faculty competencies of instructional planning, assessment, and instructional strategies.
MTP 3: Competency-Based Professional Development
Through a personalized support model with instructional designers and coaches, this cohort has focused on the the faculty competencies and developing their e-portfolios. In November, they shared their e-portfolios in progress with MTP 1 colleagues. As this group nears the end of their tenure in the MTP, they have increased their focus on reflection and showcasing all of the great work that they have done the last few years to increase student success.
A Community of Learners, Not Evaluators
The KCELT staff who facilitate the MTP (lead by Faculty Development Specialist, Theresa Moore) support a unified aim: In a community of learners, each cohort member will grow in their ability to design shareable learning solutions. They have no stake in the evaluation of the cohort or the evaluation of their e-portfolios, freeing them up to focus on work that furthers student success.
Along the way, faculty are increasing their talent networks and growing relationships with other faculty at Kirkwood. In a world where faculty can be siloed within their discipline and not have time to network, relationship building is truly one of the most important outcomes of the MTP.
How are you engaged in a PLC to support faculty professional growth? Please share your stories/ideas/questions below.