IWT’s Embedded Professional Development Program
A professional development (PD) program for schools and entire school districts can be designed to meet their specific needs. PD plans that include hands-on modeling and coaching of new learning techniques show greater positive effects on student outcomes, and a tangible transfer of new teaching skills into the classroom. IWT can help teachers explore and understand the Common Core standards, then preview what Common Core implementation can look like in practice, using IWT writing-based teaching strategies. IWT’s writing-to-learn practices emphasize close readings of challenging texts, critical analysis, independent thought, and the development of both writing and speaking skills.

Analysis of PD research in the U.S. has prompted the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, and the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality to define a new paradigm for PD–one that favors a sustained, coherent, and intense curriculum. IWT’s embedded PD model offers schools customized PD plans, comprehensive coaching and modeling, and in-school support from embedded IWT fellows—skilled practitioners in the writing-to-learn techniques that IWT teaches in workshops nationwide. IWT believes that as teachers become reflective practitioners through their own learning and writing, they collaborate and learn from each other and use that learning to inform their teaching. An IWT embedded PD plan can improve the college readiness of secondary school students, foster student motivation and inquiry, and help promote a shared vision and culture of learning within a school for both students and teachers alike.

A typical one-year PD program with a workshop cost reduction might include:

• A series of one- to three-day workshops led by IWT faculty associates, including specific work in the subject areas
• One or two teachers per site, identified as IWT fellows in training, who attend IWT workshops at Bard College and are mentored to help sustain the work beyond the embedded program
• On-site modeling and coaching by IWT senior associates.