Michael Soguero, Eagle Rock’s director of professional development, discusses what he believes high-quality professional learning looks like — within the context of secondary education — and what it entails for educators in a recent podcast produced by Getting Smart.
The 20-minute podcast focuses on Michael’s take on the quality professional development offered through our Professional Development Center and how great teaching is the key to increasing student engagement. The Getting Smart Podcast covers topics in K-12, higher education and lifelong learning, with episodes that cover developments in educational research, technology and methods. Michael was interviewed by Emily Liebtag, herself a teacher in settings ranging from K-12 public schools to online institutions of higher learning.
As you listen using the embed above, you’ll hear as Michael uses the metaphor of a cooking school, stating that the concept of quality learning is based on teaching students how to cook with the ingredients to be found in their own kitchen. Calling it an “asset-based approach,” he said good educators begin by completing an inventory of the assets on hand.
“What we do is ask the folks that we work with,” Michael says, “what got your attention? What is it that you’re aspiring to (what is your vision)? And then we help them develop their own answer / version of that aspiration by building on their local context.”
Michael then goes on to say high-quality professional learning is often the result of great teaching and student-centered learning environments, adding schools need to continue to invest in educator professional development. To back that up, Soguero has spent decades working with teachers, which has taught him the impact that high-quality learning can have on a school and on classrooms.
Here at Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center, educators learn to customize experiences that are catered towards their own personal goals and aspirations — not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all format. Learning at Eagle Rock comes in many forms, including project- and competency-based education. But most important, as Michael points out in the interview, is that school leaders who come to us for guidance, first assess existing structures and strengths before developing a plan.
The Getting Smart Podcast is a project of Getting Smart, a Seattle-based education management and learning design firm that offers services in a wide range of areas. GettingSmart.com is the company’s online community for news, stories and insights on innovations in learning and teaching, and that’s where you can find Emily Liebtag’s interview of Michael Soguero.
We hope you’ll listen to the podcast and then come back here or to our post about this on Facebook to comment.