Master Class – Simulations for Professional Learning

Workshop: Simulations for Professional Learning

Paulo Volante and Michael Johanek

Researchers, practitioners and innovators in the professional development of school leaders share a common challenge regarding effective training: How can global evidence be transferred to prepare school leaders for their local challenges?

The workshop proposes an approach to “deliberate practice” (Grossman et al, 2009) with a focus on the development of decision-making expertise of school leaders, through the collective creation of simulations that involve scenarios, possibilities and consequences of the school leaders’ practice.

The workshop will require the active participation of the attendees, who will, in the first part: (1) share experiences where professional judgment is tested in various contexts, and (2) build representative narratives of the practice. The collective construction of cases will be guided by academics and supported by facilitators, and the expected outcome is to generate varied scenarios, describing situations, challenges, decision alternatives, and possible implications, through a participative and iterative process.

During the second part of the workshop, participants will (3) reflect on decision-making criteria and processes and (4) share strategies and suggestions to enhance the professional judgment of school leaders.

The outputs of the workshop will be shared among the attendees. Later, a case will be developed as an interactive simulation on a free access platform. This simulation will be distributed by the Inter-American School Leadership Network (Red Interamericana de Liderazgo Escolar, RILE), for use in school leadership training programs and professional learning communities.

Dr. Volante is an associate professor at the Faculty of Education of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, in the areas of School Management, Curriculum and Philosophy of Education. He is a researcher at the Center for Studies of Policies and Practices in Education (CEPPE-UC) and Academic Director of the Diplomas in Leadership and Management of School Organizations at CENTRE. In addition, he is a Research Fellow at the Asia Pacific Centre for Leadership and Change and a founding member of the Inter-American Network for Educational Leadership (Red Interamericana de Liderazgo Educacional, RILE). He is currently director of the Department of Theory and Policy of Education at the UC Faculty of Education.

Dr. Johanek is a Senior Fellow at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also director of the Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership. Professor Johanek is director of the Penn Educational Leadership Simulations Program (PELS), and director of the Inter-American Network of Educational Leadership (Red Interamericana de Liderazgo Educacional, RILE). His main areas of research are school leadership, school-community relationship, civic education, and the history of education in the United States.