A Game for Learning to Lead Professional Learning

Group of teachers playing Leading Professional Learning: Building Capacity for Sustained Practice, A Simulation Game for Educators

In Monopoly, you’re trying to build an empire of hotels and avoid jail. In Trivial Pursuit, you might find yourself laughing with friends as you struggle to recall some arcane knowledge. On the surface, players of a new board game from WestEd might appear to be similarly engaged — having fun as a group, strategizing, working around obstacles, building toward a clear goal — but in terms of its content and purpose, this unique game goes much deeper, aiming to make a meaningful difference in the real world.

WestEd’s “Leading Professional Learning: Building Capacity for Sustained Practice, A Simulation Game for Educators” was designed to provide an engaging format that also instills research-based principles as it builds participants’ knowledge and skills. Players are typically teacher educators, school leaders, and others who are responsible for shaping or implementing professional learning initiatives in their schools and districts. The game gives them guided practice in planning for and following through on professional learning efforts that address the specific needs of teachers and their students, and introduces them to potential challenges that they must recognize and navigate effectively in order to achieve sustained success.

To learn more, read a recent R&D Alert Online article — “What If Professional Learning Was Like Playing a Game?” — that describes this innovative approach to learning about professional learning and shares insights from several educators (from Washington state and from Texas) who have played the game.

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