Friday, July 16, 2010

PD Needs Assessment, Goal, and Plan

I am using a situational gap analysis to precede my PD needs assessment, goal, and plan (taken from EDU572 Blackboard).

Situational Gap Analysis

The situational gap is the distance between today's reality and our vision for tomorrow.

Exercise 1: Focus on the current reality without making a value judgment about it (just the facts).

When you consider technology integration in your school-
  1. What is creating that gap today? Time is the biggest factor in the gap between integration and my department at school. This is a gap created by value placed on time in the system.
  2. Is it technical, cultural, and/or instructional? This is a cultural issue as it has to do with the value of time and how teacher spend non-instructional time.
  3. What can we do to bridge that gap? Create a specific plan for developing curriculum and request the time to do so with clear goals and measurable results. Ask for meetings to be focused and on task. Respect and value the time of colleagues, administrators, and students.
  4. What is your vision for your department? For your school? My vision is to have a four-year World Languages curriculum in place that is dynamic, integrated, and rigorous. My vision for my school is to become a healthy, robust network of connected learners in a more transparent learning environment.

Exercise 2: .
  1. What do you see as your primary role(s) within your department? Within your school? Within my department I work in tandem with the French teacher to create units and align curriculum to the Maine Learning Results. Within my school I am a part of a leadership team that is currently undergoing revision.
  2. What is the vision for your department as it relates to your school? The World Languages department seeks to empower students as communicators, which directly ties in to the Expectations for Learning at Dirigo High.
  3. Why is this vision important? I recently heard a great quote that is posted to this blog that says, "It's not our job to make you happy, but rather to make you strong." This may sound a little harsh but I love the fact that it is my job to help students learn how to communicate and understand language, which will help them in every other area of life.
  4. What difference will it make in student achievement? World Language instruction improves literacy across the board. A rigorous program will empower students in other content areas as they make connections between words and meanings. Cultural awareness is also a key outcome of World Language instruction and that adds value to a student's education.
  5. How will you go about achieving this vision? What are some of the specific enabling strategies you intend to use in the next few years? My colleague and I dedicate curriculum time to making goals, working toward them, testing out new ideas, reviewing them and refining them. I see this continuing until we complete the four years of curriculum. Right now we have the first year aligned with specific steps for summer work, the majority of summer work being the development of year two.
The final goal of a situational gap analysis is to identify what the outputs/results are for each area. This activity forces participants to go BEYOND thinking about the activities as the results. It helps us focus not on the what is delivered (staffing, money, training, time, equipment, etc) but instead on what this resource does (results/outputs).

More time with my department ---> Curricular development that is dynamic, integrated, and rigorous ---> increased communication and literacy skills among students in the program

Needs Statement
World Languages at Dirigo include French and Spanish. Instruction begins in 9th grade. Students enter with varying skills. In the past 3 years, only 12% of students who completed level 1 matriculated to advanced instruction (level 4). Of those students, many lacked basic skills and consistency in communication. In addition, the number of students who studied Spanish was disproportionate to the number of French students, with no clear reason why.

If these trends continue, advanced study of World Languages may dwindle to a degree that requires cutting the department. That would certainly inhibit the endurance of advanced skills. In addition, students need instruction that allows them to go beyond high school studies for leverage. Essential skills must be retained in order to advance to higher levels of study.

The World Language program has begun to shift practice from disjointed curricula to collaborative teaching and design. As a result of intense focus on essential skills at level 1, World Language Seminar was devised. Presently, the gap exists between levels 2-4 in terms of collaborative teaching and design to mitigate the problems addressed above.

The need to solve the problem has become evident as the department re-establishes itself after many years of constant change.

Goal and Proposed Plan
In order to successfully change the outcome of the past three years which has been very low numbers in advanced classes with students that lack essential skills, levels 2 through 4 must undergo substantial review and revision to become more dynamic, integrated, and rigorous. Based on how long it took to design Level 1 as a team, run it, review it and tweak it, the time period needed to implement proficiency level changes is 15 to 24 months per level, which can overlap. We are in month 19 of World Language Seminar (level 1) and are in the revise stage after reviewing the data from last year. Beyond level 1, lever 2 must be addressed this year in a focused, in-depth review. Levels 3 and 4 will be the subject of intense focus in subsequent cycles. The overall "overhaul" time period will probably be 4 years total.

A list of objectives that I created in June adequately states next steps for curriculum work in my department. The list is by level.

Level 1 (ten hours)
1. Examine and reflect on the World Language Seminar model and tweak it. We did a survey, and sixty kids gave us feedback we will use.

2. Specifically, re-organize the Seminar to be a list of tasks instead of calendar-based. Started this.

3. Create project sheets for each task and make them into .pdfs for the wiki (ETA we created these as we went along last year--not a huge timesucker) A lot of this has to do with me cleaning out my laptop before it gets re-imaged.

4. Isolate the essential skills. Here they are.

5. Create a metalanguage master definition page with tons of examples. I plan on making them like this: Kirsten's page.

6. Create Google sites for each student.

Level 2 (ten hours)

1. Create a metalanguage list

2. Create a task-based list to meet Maine Learning Results. (Worry about project sheets as we go--at least create the first few).

3. Isolate the essential skills. Here they are!

4. Create a metalanguage master definition page with tons of examples.

5. Create Google sites for each student.

Level 3 (ten hours)
1. Make a list of units by semester.
2. Make project sheets for each one. WIP
3. Isolate essential skills.
4. Create a metalanguage list.
5. Create Google sites for each student.

Level 4 (ten hours)
1. Create list of potential tasks for students to choose from. Each task must incorporate reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students will choose one task for each quarter and the last quarter will be student-created task based on my model.
2. Isolate essential skills.
3. Create a metalanguage list.
4. Create Google sites for each student.

Based on this list, the biggest investment to be made is time.

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