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Leading Professional Learning: Building Capacity for Sustained Practice, A Simulation Game for Educators

By Katherine Stiles, Susan Mundry, Carol Bershad


This engaging and non-competitive simulation game helps educators learn to build a community of practice among school faculty that leads to sustained use of effective practices and improved learning for all.

Participants collaborate in a realistic simulation where they serve as the professional learning leadership team in a school. They choose and implement professional learning activities that address specific needs of faculty in their school.

Along the way, participants achieve success, but also encounter some obstacles. From both, they learn valuable lessons to apply in their own real-life education settings, discovering how to best support professional learning in their own schools.

While the simulation takes place in the context of improving science education, its principles are transferable to planning and implementing professional learning in all subject areas.

This boxed set contains enough materials for four teams of 3-5 players, or up to 20 participants. More than four teams can play the game at a time by using additional sets.

Leading Professional Learning can be used in graduate and undergraduate courses on education leadership and professional learning; in institutes and academies for education leaders; and in local professional learning sessions for coaches, teacher leaders, and others.

Intended learning outcomes for players:

  • Knowledge of how to connect professional learning opportunities to the specific needs of teachers and their students
  • An understanding of the inputs or considerations necessary for designing effective professional learning
  • Recognition of the potential constraints and supports for professional learning
  • Appreciation of the role of leaders in planning and implementing effective professional learning
  • An understanding that collaborative school communities are essential for achieving sustained use of effective practices

Leading Professional Learning was developed by Katherine Stiles (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at WestEd), Susan Mundry (Learning Innovations at WestEd), and Carol Bershad.



Resource Details

Product Information

ISBN: 978-1-938287-38-1
Copyright: 2016
Format: Multimedia
Publisher: WestEd

Available Previews

Praise for this Resource

  • “I have seen firsthand how this simulated experience transforms science and mathematics leaders’ ability to discuss complex issues about teaching and learning, use feedback to enable better decision making, see the big picture, and transfer their learning to their own context. It’s both engaging and transformative!”

    Page Keeley, Director of the Maine Governor’s Academy for Science and Mathematics Education Leadership and Past President of the National Science Teachers Association