Communities of Practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for
something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.1
1 Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner, Introduction to communities of practice: A brief overview of the concept and its uses http://wenger-trayner.com/introduction-to-communities-of-practice/ (accessed April 2015).
Regional Communities of Practice
To provide opportunities for California adult educators to interact regularly and to engage in collective learning, CALPRO is offering regionally based professional learning opportunities using a Community of Practice (CoP) model on a growing number of priority topics.
Available Topics and Descriptions:
To view a description of each topic, click on its title.
- Math Instructional Strategies
In Math Instructional Strategies, Community of Practice members learn new information and strategies to help adult students satisfy the California mathematics requirements for earning an adult high school diploma or the General Educational Development (GED) credential. Participants learn strategies on best mathematics practice for effective instruction in pre-algebra and algebra as well as strategies for reducing math anxiety.
- College and Career
Readiness Standards (CCRS)
The ultimate goal of CALPRO in providing professional development opportunities for adult educators is to enhance student learning gains and to help adult learners meet their goals as productive workers, family and community members, and lifelong learners. To accomplish this goal, it is necessary to provide training for adult educators around the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) and how to align what occurs in the classroom with these standards. This two part module is designed support teachers, administrators, and programs as they work to implement and align with the CCRS. This module is part one of the training and will provide an introduction to, and an in-depth exploration of the CCR standards to ensure appropriate background knowledge is mastered and a common vocabulary is established throughout the sessions and beyond. Part two will focus on the alignment of materials to the CCRS and the impact this has on instructional planning. The audience intended for this module is adult education program teams consisting of one administrator and up to 3 teachers to attend together. The teachers should represent the diversity of the instructional offerings (ABE, ASE, ESL, GED, etc.) and subject focus (ELA and math) in the program. This representation is essential to program success because the sessions will be designed to provide targeted learning opportunities for ELA and math.
- CCRS 2: ELA Implementation
Building on CALPRO's CCRS Foundations module, which provides an introduction to the CCRS, this module will focus on the alignment of materials with the CCRS English language arts (ELA) standards and the application of the standards in the classroom by using practical tools and strategies. The module will focus on the CCRS ELA standards and will be developed and relevant for an audience of both Adult Basic Education/Adult Secondary Education (ABE/ASE) and English as a second language (ESL) teachers. This module focuses only on ELA, not math. It is encouraged, but not required, that teachers participate in the training in teams. If attending in teams, teachers should represent the diversity of the instructional offerings (ABE, ASE, ESL, etc.) in the program. The module will be developed so that it can meet the needs of all learner levels. NOTE: Because this module builds on the work done in CALPRO's College and Career Readiness Standards module, completion of that module is a requirement for participation in this one.
- Effective Teaching for
Have you heard about the Adult Education Teacher Competencies? In this training, participants are introduced to the new Adult Education Teacher Competencies and become familiar with the four domains and seventeen competencies included. By the end of the training, participants will be able to apply the competencies to their own teaching in a variety of ways and will leave with a plan for increasing effectiveness of instruction. This module is designed for all adult education instructors and instructional leaders with at least one year of teaching experience, including ESL, ABE, HSE and CTE instructors. Teachers are encouraged to apply in pairs from the same site or program.
- Evidence–Based Writing Instruction for
In Evidence–Based Writing Instruction for ABE/ASE, Community of Practice members apply 1) research–based instructional techniques, 2) protocols for analyzing students' work, and 3) guided instructional plans to improve their writing instruction for ABE/ASE students who are at the intermediate and advanced levels. Participants will develop an instructional plan to use in his or her classroom to teach writing effectively to ABE/ASE students.
- Evidence–Based Writing Instruction
In Evidence–Based Writing Instruction for ESL, Community of Practice members apply 1) research–based instructional techniques, 2) protocols for analyzing students' work, and 3) guided instructional plans to improve their writing instruction for ESL students who are at the intermediate and advanced levels. Participants will develop an instructional plan to use in his or her classroom to teach writing effectively to ESL students.
- Evidence-Based Reading Instruction (EBRI)
While reading is the most basic of skills, teaching reading is a complex process that is often misunderstood. Evidence-based reading instruction (EBRI) demystifies the teaching of reading because it lays out effective evidence–based assessment and instructional practices. Among these practices are: assessments in each of the four components of reading; lessons based on those assessments; direct, explicit instruction; effective instructional strategies and techniques; and regular monitoring of student progress. Note: this Institute is intended to assist Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs that teach adult learners reading at the intermediate level—CASAS 211-235 or 4th–8th grade level equivalent.
- Integrated and Contextualized Workforce
Skills in the ABE/ASE Classroom
How can you prepare your learners to succeed in the workforce? Find out what employers say are essential skills for today's workforce. This Community of Practice shows you how to connect transferable skills in the Adult Basic Education/Adult Secondary Education classroom to the workplace. It also offers examples of contextualizing ABE/ASE instruction easily by using workplace activities and forms.
- Integrated and Contextualized Workforce Skills
in the ESL Classroom
How can you prepare your learners to succeed in the workforce? Find out what employers say are essential skills for today's workforce. This Community of Practice shows you how to connect transferable skills in the English as a Second Language classroom to the workplace. It also offers examples of contextualizing ESL instruction easily by using workplace activities and forms.
- Integrated Education and Training
In Integrated Education and Training (IET), Community of Practice members work in agency-based teams of educators and agency administrators through the process of developing plans for implementing one of four instructional models that successfully integrate adult education basic skills instruction (i.e., Adult Basic Education or English has a Second Language) with technical or occupational skills instruction. The four models are: Co-teaching, Alternating Teaching, Vocational ESL/ABE-specific, and Cluster Vocational ESL/ABE.
- Optimizing ESL Instructional Planning:
Management, Monitoring, and Reflection
How do you plan instruction so that you are certain your English learners' proficiency is increasing? This Community of Practice presents an optimal process for English as a second language (ESL) instructional planning. The process uses three types of strategies: management, monitoring, and reflection. Backed by research, these strategies may be used with any proficiency level. Throughout the training, participants will explore ways to integrate these strategies into their courses and daily lessons.
- Postsecondary Transitions
In Postsecondary Transitions, Community of Practice members work in agency teams to develop an integrated, comprehensive plan for implementing a coherent, effective postsecondary transition program. In Session 1 participants identify best practices and strategies to implement a successful postsecondary transition program. In Session 2, participants assess their agency’s degree of readiness to implement a postsecondary transition program and identify strategic leverage points for implementing their own agency’s action plan.
In these regional CoPs, participants meet face-to-face and also online to receive
guidance and support in implementing new practices in their schools and agencies.
Before, between and following their face-to-face training sessions, Community of
Practice members access additional online resources and participate in activities
designed to extend their learning and support their implementation of new practices
with their learners. The online portion of the regional Community of Practice is
delivered using a platform called Moodle. CALPRO provides
newcomers with an orientation to Moodle and provides technical
Average Time Commitment
With the exception of the EBRI CoP, an institute requiring a much more substantial time commitment, all of CALPRO’s CoPs require an average total of 16-20 hours of professional learning.
Shift in Culture
Communities of Practice place a strong emphasis on supporting educators in implementing new skills. This greater emphasis on implementation may involve one or more shifts in culture. For examples of some of these shifts , see Shift in Culture.
Benefits of Participating in a CALPRO regional CoP:
To hear what people are saying about CALPRO's Communities of Practice, click Participant Feedback.
- Opportunity to interact with other teachers or administrators and trainers online and in-person to share classroom experiences and problem solve
- Support and help to implement training in the classroom
- Ability to identify and serve the needs of students
- Ways to help students improve their skills and meet their personal goals
- Increase of professional knowledge in targeted topic
- Access to additional resources that extend the learning beyond the CoP
- Working together as a school team to make changes, identify challenges and solve problems
For More Information
To inquire about hosting a regional Community of Practice, applying to join one, or other details, please contact Dr. Cherise Moore at the CALPRO office.
Electronic Community of Practice (e-CoP)
CALPRO also hosts an electronic Community of Practice, where educators from across
California can meet online any time to discuss a variety of topics, participate
in e-CoP Webinars, access and share resources, and support each other in their professional
development. The e-CoP is located on a separate Web site, http://calproecop.groupsite.com. For additional details,
visit the e-CoP site or view its companion resources on CALPRO’s Web site, the Virtual Workrooms for Adult Educators.