Are You Differentiating Your Staff’s Development?

Are You Differentiating Your Staff’s Development?

Student Centered Learning (SCL) is said to promote the practice of engaging our learners on an individual level in the educational environment. In using this practice in the classroom teachers develop and implement a differentiated learning experience for students to meet them at their individual ability levels. This groundbreaking endeavor requires instructors to maximize instructional pedagogy and develop pioneering instructional strategies/practices designed to engage students, building on their individual learning styles.

This approach to individualized learning has the potential to revolutionize the field of education, so why don’t we take this approach with our staff?

Here is where the Psychology side of my background begins to emerge. As a professional community of educated individuals, having had to muster through many courses throughout our previous experiences as students, we all have developed our own styles and habits for learning. The fact of the matter is that adults, just as our students, are individual learners whom have distinctive learning methods, styles, and pace when learning new material. So why do we take a massive “whole group” professional development approach when training staff?

The idea of developing a personalized professional development strategy to expand on the capacity of your new and experienced staff may seem like a daunting task, but it will prove to be well worth it. Current research and management practices lend to us a great wealth of knowledge around investing in, and the capacity building of your human capital. Once you have the right people in place to lead your organization, it is only fitting that you focus on further developing the talents and skills that prompted you to hire them in the first place.

In today’s innovative workplace, you must find people who are capable of performing the job at hand. Creating best practices and developing processes and procedures for a relatively new model requires the skill of forward thinkers who are capable of throwing the “box” out of the window. If your employees will be writing the “rules” as they work, investing in them as individuals will optimize their efforts to be successful, personally and professionally. This creates a win for the organization, its stakeholders, and the employee.

Written by Greg Hurst

Greg Hurst

Gregory Hurst is a Blended Instruction Specialists with Matchbook Learning, a national non-profit partner provider specializing in school turnarounds.

One comment

  1. Brenda Flowers


    If only PDs were looked at the way you are suggesting, there would have been more alert “adult” learners in the room. It is true that we learn how to differentiate for our students to learn, but every year we do a whole group learning approach to improving my skills as a teacher. Interested in learning more.

    Brenda Flowers
    Detroit, MI

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