The Bronx Charter School for Better Learning provides a singularly vast amount of professional development (PD) to its teachers and teaching assistants.
Most training takes place via workshops, classroom visits and individual and grade-level sessions led by our professional development team and outside consultants. Almost all of our training focuses on some aspect of the subordination of teaching to the learning, including Gattegno Mathematics and Words in Color. Teachers are also fully trained in Responsive Classroom. In addition, we train our teachers to implement learning centers and Writer's Workshop and Reader's Workshop.
Professional development activities include:
Multiple days of pedagogical training for all teachers over the summer
Additional days of summer training in Responsive Classroom for new teachers
Institutes throughout the school year on how the subordination of teaching to learning plays out in English language arts and mathematics
2 or more grade-level planning sessions per week
Extensive grade-level curriculum planning before the school year
Frequent in-class observations and team teaching
Close, collaborative scrutiny of actual lessons
Attendance at conferences and workshops outside of school
Our staff developers in the school's pedagogical approach, the subordination of teaching to learning, are:
Dr. Ted Swartz, Director of Professional Development
Dr. Paula Hajar, Senior Professional Development Specialist
Dr. Bruce Ballard, Professional Development Specialist
Additional training is provided by:
Mr. Andy Dousis (Effective Teaching & Management)
Dr. Arthur Powell (Rutgers University)
Dr. Carol Rodgers (SUNY Albany)
Dr. Sandra Hayes (Efficacy)
Ms. Shetal Shah (Technology)
Ms. Susan Buckley (Social Studies)
The Subordination of Teaching to Learning: A Distinctly Effective Approach
Our instructional approach, while distinctly effective, is challenging to master. Our purpose, generally, is to use academic subject matter as a vehicle for keeping students in touch with their copious learning powers.
We do not focus on the extent to which students use their memory, a tendency of those who practice more “traditional” teaching methodologies; rather, we attend to how intelligently students function. We watch closely how they manage academic challenges we pose and we adjust our instructional interventions to support their “knowing” what to do. That “knowing” produces “knowledge,” which the students retain, without the dulling experience that commonly results from mimicry and repetitious drill, which imitation and memorization require.
Thus, we create the conditions for students to empower and inspire themselves.
Click here to view our “Types of Instruction Grid” for an overview of the essential differences between the subordination of teaching to learning and other instructional practices.