The Future of Professional Learning

debdelisle             hirsh             audie

Deb Delisle                              Stephanie Hirsh                          Audie Rubin

When it comes to the all-important topic of professional learning, what has the future got in store? We recently asked a few key players in the field for their views.

How do we define ‘professional learning’? The definition has many strands, but at its core most educators will agree with this definition given by professional learning organization Learning Forward:

“Professional learning is an integral part of a school’s strategy for providing educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to enable students to succeed in a well-rounded education and to meet the challenging State academic standards.”

Deborah Delisle’40 year career in education spans numerous roles including elementary school principal and Executive Director of ASCD, an organization dedicated to excellence in both learning and teaching. In 2012, she was chosen by President Obama to be the US Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education, where she coordinated policy for programs designed to improve achievement in school-age children.

Deb’s view on the future of professional learning:

“Professional learning will become more personalized with educators creating opportunities that they need through networking, collaboration, and relying more on colleagues rather than external experts.  Practitioners will share their practices widely through a variety of forums.  Teachers’ voices will become increasingly important as our recognition of practitioners’ expertise increases.”


Stephanie Hirsh has worked as a secondary school teacher, Texas school district administrator, writer and policy advisor, and is now the Executive Director of Learning Forward, an organization that believes that effective professional development is essential to improving student learning.

Stephanie’s view on the future of professional learning:

“The future of professional learning is intact as long as the world continues to change and our expectations and desires for our students changes with it.  Educators will always be in need of acquiring new knowledge and skills essential to reaching all students. As we say at Learning Forward, at school, everyone’s job is to learn.”


A former teacher and school principal, Audie Rubin is now the Director of Strategic Partnerships at BloomBoard where he works across a diverse set of content and business partners in K-12 education. Prior to that, Audie worked for Pearson Learning Solutions and has significant experience in the realm of online learning opportunities and blended learning curriculum.


Audie’s view on the future of professional learning:

“There has been a huge investment in professional development but there isn’t necessarily always a great return on investment. This is now starting to change as many focus on more applied learning, and more demonstrating. Earning microcredentials – a form of professional development where teachers work towards competency in one area – may be the way forward.”


For more information on ASCD:

For more information on Forward Learning:

For more information on BloomBoard:


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