FASL provides sustained professional development based on the learning sciences with the assumption that we are preparing students and professionals for a world of accelerating change.
TIP: FASL makes the following assumptions on the design of school improvement:
1. The most effective forms of change are driven within the organization itself. In this case, that means within the school. For this reason, TIP focuses on a teacher leadership cohort (TLC) as the catalyst for change. The TLC and the school administrators are trained as a team.
2. Proximity counts. Teachers turn to other teachers for help and assistance. This is a peer-to-peer program, thereby reducing cost and taking advantage of the research on positive social influence. Coaches are also welcome to participate.
3. Not all people want to change. Select a small Teacher Leadership Cohort (TLC) of three to seven teachers to become the change catalysts. The TLC members need to be open to change, innovative, respected by the other teachers, good communicators, and comfortable with data. With the support of the principal and assistant principals, the TLC will begin to change other teachers in the school through their visible success with students. Over time, the expectation is a school culture of collective teacher efficacy.
4. The implementation of TIP is flexible. Schools can join a blended learning cohort with face-to-face training and digital support. For isolated schools, the cohort can depend on digital training and support. In the end, success is dependent on good school leadership, within the TLC and the administration.
5. Trust the science. The work of cognitive, social, and behavioral scientists over the past 25 years is clear. It is the basis for FASL training. Teachers are encouraged to take small steps, rely on visible feedback, and adjust. Results with students in TLC classrooms will be obvious within weeks. If formal and informal opportunities for sharing are made available, other teachers will also change within a matter of a few more weeks.
There are two models of Teams Improving Practice, blended and digital only. The blended model has four days of face-to-face training for teachers and three for principals. The digital model replaces the face-to-face training with webinars. TIP extends over three years with topics in three major themes: cognition, motivation, and social and emotional learning. The topics are sequenced for teachers from easy to challenging and impactful immediately to impactful over time.