Human Restoration Project
123: Humanizing Professional Development w/ Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond
Today we are joined by Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond. Joining us on election day, there’s frankly a lot of anxiety around the current state of our world…not just who will win the election but if those results will be accepted, a general cynicism about our future, and especially in the classroom, teachers are reporting extraordinary rates of burnout and nihilism.
Dr. Darling-Hammond has done a ton of work to improve educational policy: both by supporting teachers and by changing systems in schools to support learners, she's advocated for higher standards of the profession and fighting back against authoritarian, behaviorist methods. Yet, given the state of the world today and all the things going on, how do we inspire hope and restore that humanity to professional development?
In this podcast, we discuss:
- Where should we go next? We know that many schools are shifting to more rote practices. This was already happening through various “back to basics” movements, and is reemerging in force in the “learning loss” debate. This is further complicated by the politicization of teaching to new levels, between outcries about CRT, LGBTQIA+ rights, antiracism, etc. - even just using the term “progressive education” at all.
- How do we navigate those waters? What do we build professional development that address this in 2022? How can teachers and administrators build these practices?
- How can professional development be used to combat those who wish to discredit educator expertise and shift to hiring unlicensed teachers and/or gig-based workers? How can we ensure that we maintain a high standard for the profession?
- At a systemic level…what does this look like for school administrators? Attempts to do school reform at a national level seems to have always centered on national testing and teacher evaluations, and it’s been a “back to basics” way of looking at education that goes to those non-supported-by-research practices.
Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, the Charles E. Docummun Professor of Education Emeritus at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and served as the faculty sponsor of the Stanford Teacher Education Program, which she helped to redesign. She is the President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute. Also, she’s the former President of the American Educational Research Association. She’s written over 25 books and 500 articles including The Right to Learn, Preparing Teachers for Deeper Learning, and The Flat World and Education. She was the leader of the education transition team for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign. And, she began her career as a public school teacher and co-founded a preschool and public high school.
*In the recording, it was incorrectly mentioned that Dr. Darling-Hammond is the former president of LPI, she is the current president. She led both Barack Obama's and Joe Biden's US Dept of Education transition teams.