FASL provides teacher and leadership development in two ways. One is through book studies with Christine and Richard. Each of the book studies incorporate additional books to support the topic. The other is through a Teams Improving Practice (TIP) approach for a segment of a school rather than an entire school.

Book Studies

MEGAThinking: THINK BIG, act small, Fail or Succeed Fast, Adjust – Learning to Learn – This book study is designed for both school and district leadership. It consists of three 45 minute webinars for school administrators and professional staff and up to seven 30 minute webinars for teachers. The topics range from the design of practice to visible learning and motivation, to social transmission and influence tied to school improvement. This is not a comprehensive look at learning but an in-depth look at the science in terms of quick impacts that can make dramatic differences in learning and change mindsets.

Thinking Fast and Slow by the Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, explores human characteristics of decision-making and judgment. FASL looks at the book in terms of change leadership. It explains why reason and being data driven rarely work as change strategies. The book is paired with several others to explore how profound Kahneman’s thinking has been in fields like economics and decision-making and how one compensates for our brain’s tendency to develop mental shortcuts. These other books include Factfulness by Hans Rosling and Ghostmap by Steven Johnson, Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath, and Misbehaving by another Nobel Laureate, Richard Thaler. It is a four part series of 45 minute webinars looking at change leadership and continuous improvement.

Visible Learning by John Hattie has already made a substantial impact on
educational thinking but primarily at a surface level. There are some shocking rankings of influential practices in his work. For example, did you know that collaboration ranks below the tipping point of .4 but something you would consider collaborative ranks seventh, at 1.2. What makes Jigsawing work and not collaboration? This five-part book study looks for characteristics that make a given practice work or not work by looking for commonalities that might predict high impact and examines the focus of his studies to understand their limitations.

More book studies will be announced as they become available. All book studies are supplemented by related podcasts and articles.


Teachers Leading Learning (TLL)

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 teacher and leadership development:

  1. In this model, teachers are trained but school administrators are not. Often the teachers represent a specific focus, like gifted and AP, STEM, or mathematics.
  2. The most effective forms of change result from peers influencing each other, so it is not essential that all teachers in a focus area be trained but it is essential that some teachers in each participating school are trained. Peer-to-peer influence at the teacher level does not work well between schools.
  3. 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 with webinars available along with digital resources. The digital model includes one day of fact-to-face training and then replaces the remaining training with webinars and online resources.