The AFT’s Professional Learning Program
The AFT has long recognized the need for educators to have access to high-quality professional learning that is ongoing, job-embedded, connected to practice, aligned to school and district goals, and collaborative. Our peer-led, evidence-based Professional Learning Program is AFT’s major effort to improve student achievement by making a difference in practitioners’ performance and professional growth.
The AFT supports local affiliates through AFT staff experts and our national cadre of trainers, who deliver professional development locally. AFT staff also help our local affiliates collaborate with their districts and partner with their educators to design professional development programs that are relevant, timely and responsive to their current needs. We offer more than 50 courses that range from weeklong intensive, graduate-level courses to short, focused, just-in-time training modules. Each course and module in the program is:
Grounded in educational, cognitive and social science research
Guided by frontline educators and other experts who know firsthand what goes on in classrooms and schools every day
Filled with tools and resources to help participants meet the academic, social and behavioral needs of their students
Building Capacity Using a Train-the-Trainer Model
The AFT Professional Learning Program uses a train-the-trainer model; the AFT sets up training and support for members who will then go on to train colleagues in their local or nationally. This helps local union affiliates to develop capacity and meet the unique needs of their school communities.
AFT national trainers are expert practitioners who work collaboratively in the development of coursework, deliver train-the-trainer courses through the AFT’s annual Summer Educator Academy, and provide locally based training on demand.