1st Edition

Improving Professional Learning Twelve Strategies to Enhance Performance

By Alan B. Knox Copyright 2015
    112 Pages
    by Routledge

    112 Pages
    by Routledge

    Given the tremendous importance of keeping up with the explosion of knowledge in professional fields—from medicine and health to teaching in schools and colleges – getting the most out of every learning opportunity is vital to the growth and vitality of our society, as well as to the development of professional practitioners themselves.In this concise, practical guide to improving professional learning and performance, Alan Knox brings decades of experience and study to bear on 12 key tasks for the leader of professional learning activities. Illustrated with examples from a wide variety of learning settings across the helping professions (e.g., health care, teaching, social work), the chapters will provide essential guidance to instructors and facilitators seeking to improve learning activities and thereby enhance professional performance. The combination of evidence-based concepts and practical examples is designed to enable readers to improve the learning activities they lead, and thereby enhance the performance of learners in their ongoing professional practice.

    Foreword Preface Introduction. Improving Professional Learning and PerformancePart One. Aligning Participant and Program Goals 1. Establishing Shared Purposes 2. Selecting Able Leaders Part Two. Responding to Participant Experiences, Proficiencies, Aspirations, and Influences 3. Being Responsive to Participants’ Experiences and Expectations 4. Specifying Current Participant Proficiencies 5. Developing Shared Expectations 6. Addressing Gaps Between Current and Desired Proficiencies 7. Analyzing Situational Influences on Performance Part Three. Enhancing Desired Performance of Diverse Participants 8. Enhancing the Learning Transaction 9. Using Active Methods With Participants 10. Sequencing Activities for Progress Part Four. Evaluating Session Plans, Improvements, Results, Resources, and Influences 11. Providing Evaluation Feedback to Stakeholders 12. Recognizing Contextual Influences Part Five. Conclusion 13. Conclusion. Making the 12 Tasks Work for You Bibliographic Essay References Index


    Alan B. Knox is Professor Emeritus of educational leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He continues his scholarly work and staff development sessions for helping professionals through the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health office of Continuing Professional Development. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

    “Ensuring effectiveness of professional development is essential for organizations to keep pace with continuing pervasive and rapid change. Improving Professional Learning is an immediately useful resource to meet this need, providing specific strategies for effective learning sessions, examples that show how others have implemented those strategies, and reflective guidelines to ensure appropriate implementation within individual contexts. These practical tasks are grounded in concepts developed from over 60 years of research on helping adults learn in a variety of professions, enabling leaders of professional learning to have confidence in the learning activities they offer. A must-read for leaders of professional learning everywhere!”

    Jean E. Fleming, EdD, RN, President

    American Association for Adult and Continuing Education

    From the foreword:

    "Dr. Alan Knox has provided leadership for this important area of scholarship and practice for decades, and brings all of his insights, experience, and research to help educational leaders improve professional learning. The 12 strategies that form the heart of the book are essential elements for anyone providing professional learning, from starting where the learner is, through the focus on active learning, and ending with providing feedback to learners and other stakeholders. Without a doubt, this book is a major contribution to support improved practice of professional learning and continuing professional education.”

    Ronald M. Cervero