Knowledge Building: Six Activities
The professional vitality of a school is boosted
when educators create an active community of learning.
By exchanging knowledge with our colleagues we not only learn
more about the business of teaching, we learn more about ourselves and
the professionals with whom we work--we form affirming connections.
The process of sharing knowledge is the lifeblood of a vibrant
To build knowledge sharing structures
To learn best practices from our colleagues
To forge professional connections through
other colleagues in a professional roundtable that meets at scheduled
times either before or after school.
These informal gatherings are designed to address, explore, and
perhaps solve real job related issues or concerns.
Be certain that you first establish a set of roundtable norms
or behavior guidelines so that the time is not spent complaining or
focusing on the negative.
Activity Two: Research Teams.
With a partner or small group of colleagues form a research
team. The purpose of this
research team is to gather and then communicate data that can shape
professional behavior. It
isn’t necessary to search for lofty, ethereal educational data, but
rather seek to find concrete information about things like student
attitudes, the community, parent needs and wants, etc.
In short, find data that is “close to home” and relevant to
Activity Three: Positive Sharing. Select
one or more colleagues who will agree to meet briefly once a week to
share stories, examples, or events that are professionally positive.
It is amazing how a short positive “check in” with fellow
teachers provides a professional boost, helps shape your attitude
toward work, and contributes to the overall health of the work
Activity Four: Reading Groups. With
another colleague(s) agree to read and discuss selected professional
readings. Schedule your readings on a regular basis so that it becomes
part of your professional routine.
Keep in mind that the readings do not have to be long—they
just have to be thought provoking.
Some reading partnerships simply use selected quotes that
“jump start” deeper thinking and professional communication.
Activity Five: Brain Picking.
On a regular basis “pick the brains” of fellow teachers who
you admire. Ask them to
briefly tell you some things that they have learned about teaching
well. Be certain to record
what you have learned and ask yourself how you can apply what they
tell you to improve your own teaching.
Activity Six: Learning Goals.
Take an honest look at your own learning habits by asking
yourself the following questions:
What does professionalism
mean to me?
Am I continually seeking new professional
How can I sustain my won love of learning?
Do I work diligently to help shape a
professional learning community?
Based on your answers, write one to three knowledge-building goals.
Be certain that your goals are crisp, measurable, and
attainable. Share your
goals with a mentor and/or colleague.
Ask them for ideas to accomplish your on-the-job learning
Development Activities (Select a category listed below)