SEDL Monthly: Advancing Research, Improving Education March 2009
woman writing and man looking at what she is writing people at a PD workshop

Professional Development at SEDL
Teachers benefit the most from professional development if it is ongoing and allows them to implement and refine what they learn in their daily work. The Professional Teaching and Learning Cycle is one form of ongoing, job-embedded professional development.

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The Professional Teaching and Learning Cycle

SEDL staff help educators improve student learning through ongoing, job-embedded professional development like the Professional Teaching and Learning Cycle (PTLC). The PTLC is a professional development process in which teachers collaboratively plan and implement lessons aligned to their state standards. The cycle involves the following steps:

  • Step 1: Study—Teachers work in collaborative planning teams (grade-level, vertical, or departmental) to critically examine and discuss the learning expectations from selected state standards.

  • Step 2: Select—Collaborative planning teams research and select instructional strategies and resources for enhancing learning and agree on appropriate assessment techniques.

  • Step 3: Plan—Planning teams work together to formally develop a common lesson incorporating the selected strategies and select the type of student work each teacher will later use as evidence of student learning.

  • Step 4: Implement—Teachers carry out the planned lesson, make note of implementation successes and challenges, and gather the agreed-upon evidence of student learning.

  • Step 5: Analyze—Teachers gather again in collaborative teams to examine student work and discuss student understanding of the standards.

  • Step 6: Adjust—Collaborative teams reflect on the implications of the analysis of student work. Teachers discuss alternative instructional strategies or modifications to the original instructional strategy that may be better suited to promoting student learning.

Leadership Roles PTLC

Learn to Use the Professional Teaching and Learning Cycle at Your School.

The SEDL Center for Professional Learning offers professional development sessions on the PTLC. Enroll in our 4-day August PTLC session in Austin, Texas, or ask a SEDL presenter to deliver a customized session at your school or district.


The Professional Teaching and Learning Cycle is part of Working Systemically in Action: A Guide for Facilitators, a school change resource that is available from the SEDL Store.

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Helping Teachers Make the Most of PTLC

teacher infront of class, kids hands raisedTime is precious to teachers, and providing proper support can make the difference between enthusiastic participation and a response of "I donít have time for this." District and school leaders can support teachers' professional development in several ways.

  • Modify teachers' instructional schedules to allow common time for collaboration and planning.
  • Release staff members from certain duties or responsibilities to ensure that they can devote their full attention and energy to PTLC activities and instructional effectiveness.
  • Ensure funds are available for the purchase of materials and resources needed to support instruction and professional development.
  • Actively and consistently demonstrate in both words and actions a commitment to the PTLC work.


Free Resources

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Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement Web Site

Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement Web Site

The Center's mission is to help schools organize, plan, implement, and sustain improvement by providing reliable information about research-based strategies and assistance. The Center's Web site houses a variety of tools, including a School Reform and Improvement Database, professional development Webcasts and audio segments, and other resources.

SEDL Letter

Educators rely on data to make decisions about school improvement. The November 2006 issue of SEDL Letter looks at a recent research study about state data and discusses how district and school staff can take the first steps in learning to analyze data effectively.


View other free resources available on the SEDL Web site. Subscribe to SEDL Letter, our award winning magazine that examines issues that affect schools and districts today.

You are receiving the SEDL Monthly because you signed up to receive e-mail notices when SEDL has news or resources of interest to the educational community.

Questions or comments should be directed to:
Laura Shankland
4700 Mueller Blvd.
Austin, TX 78723
Phone: 512-391-6556
Fax: 512-476-2286