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Professional Learning

Galileo Educational Network’s Design-Based Professional Learning

The Galileo Educational Network works alongside teachers and education leaders to build professional capacity through design-based professional learning. The result of this participatory learning is to create and study research-active, evidence-based and engaging learning environments that demonstrate new images of leading, teaching and student learning. Galileo Educational Network experts, work in partnership with system leaders, school based leaders and teachers through iterative learning cycles designed to improve student learning.

The challenge for today’s educators is to create a culture of competence where all students and staff are engaged in learning and focused on continuous improvement. The figure below demonstrates the knowledge building cycles of design-based professional learning with the central focus on improving student learning.


The Galileo Educational Network is a complex network of university faculty, professional learning experts, teachers, school and system leaders, policy makers and other education stakeholders. Galileo’s engagement with partners is guided by six foundational principles: stewarding the intellect through inquiry-based learning, infusing digital technologies, providing high-quality assessment, honoring collaboration and teamwork, fostering scholarship of teaching, and providing practical thought-provoking professional learning for all. The Teaching Effectiveness Framework (Friesen, 2009) provides a theoretical lens for guiding the design-based professional learning and design-based research collaborations.  The long-term work in research-practice partnerships focused on professional learning and active research situates this network as a unique and leading-edge example of an innovative organization informing educational theory and practice with a relentless focus on improving student learning. (Adapted from Brown et al. 2018.)

In close collaboration with CBE Leadership and Learning,

  • Galileo designs and leads professional learning in alignment with:
    • the CBE three-year plan, and current goals and priorities
    • best available research about leading, teaching and student learning
    • discipline expertise
    • and in response to evidence of leading for improved student learning brought forward by participants during each learning cycle.
  • Galileo collaborates closely with the system and/or school leadership teams in designing the professional learning and in analyzing the impact evidence that emerges.
  • Each learning cycle is designed to respond to the emergent learning needs surfaced through participant feedback and impact evidence participants are asked to bring forward at each session.
  • Active research collaborations include:
    • Active collaboration with research teams regarding research design, data gathering, data analysis, and knowledge mobilization
    • Knowledge mobilization including media design and creation of case studies illustrating effective pedagogy in action
    • Practitioners impact research questions and research impacts practice
Circles of Influence