You can use the workshop to provide professional development activities for teachers in a variety of settings:
- in social studies methods courses
- with new teachers who are trying to broaden their range of teaching methods
- in a district or school workshop
- for individual teacher study of a specific topic, method, or grade level
- in professional development mentoring programs
The following facilitator tips can enhance the professional development experience:
Before the First Session
- Preview the video and review the Web or print guide prior to organizing a study group or workshop.
- You will want participants to have the guide prior to the first session, so they will come prepared. Either direct them to this Web site, or print, photocopy, and distribute the print version of the guide and any reading materials they will need prior to the session.
- Be sure participants know what to bring to each workshop session and the reading assignments for the session.
Each week, someone should be responsible for facilitating the workshop sessions. This may be a professional facilitator or a volunteer from among the participants, or you may choose to divide and rotate duties among several participants.
Prepare for the Session and Bring the Necessary Materials
- Before coming to the session, the facilitator should review the entire session and become familiar with the questions, activities, readings, and printouts found in the following sections of each workshop session: Engage, Explore, Explain, Apply, and Evaluate.
- The facilitator should bring enough materials for the participants. If the group is viewing the video programs on videocassette, the facilitator may want to preview the programs.
Be an Active Moderator
- Use the suggested questions and continue with other questions that interest you and your colleagues.
- Allow enough time to wait for participants' responses.
- Encourage reflection as a means to improving teaching.
- Conclude by reviewing strategies and action items teachers can use in their practice.
- Assign the readings in the Explore section for the next session as homework.
Record Your Discussions
We recommend that someone take notes during each discussion, or even better, that you tape-record the discussions. The notes or audiotapes can serve as make-up materials in case anyone misses a workshop.
Share Your Discussions on the Web
The workshop sessions serve as a starting point to share and think about the workshop ideas. Encourage participants to continue their discussions with participants from other sites on Teacher-Talk.