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How to Use the CKC
The CKC provides the Pennsylvania instructor with the focus for the development of
professional development sessions and resources that assure the delivery of rich,
research-based and current information across all three Competency Levels.
The extent of information within the CKC enables instructors to reflect upon their levels of mastery on the topics for which they train or prioritize for training. As they consider the Knowledge Areas and competencies they will prioritize for delivery of content, an honest review of the CKC will result in a realistic assessment of one’s own knowledge and experience. Even the most experienced trainer will most likely have competencies within Knowledge Areas that inspire them to seek more information.
The Competency Levels in the CKC are based upon Bloom’s Taxonomy. The verbs in each competency were carefully chosen to illustrate the sequence of skill mastery that occurs over time with experience and learning opportunities. Instructors will use the competencies within the CKC when developing objectives for professional development to ensure alignment. This will enable attendees to identify and connect the event with their training goals and seek content that is specific to their needs.
The three Competency Levels enable instructors to design professional development events that address the individual differences and needs of the learner. Just as with the Learning Standards’ Continuum of Learning, the CKC enables an instructor to view the sequence of skills within a competency and design training that relays information to reach varied levels within one professional development event. While the training may be specifically designed for one level, understanding adult learning principles and the sequence of skills within an area will help instructors formulate content to reach varied audiences and styles of learning. The Core Knowledge Competencies align with the content in the PA Learning Standards. When the CKC content is combined with the examples of supportive practices and ways in which children demonstrate the skills that are found in the PA Learning Standards, professional development events will provide participants with a strong understanding of the implementation of best practices. For example, ways in which professionals build strong relationships with families, described in the Knowledge Area that addresses family and community partnerships, can be further understood through the descriptions and examples in the PA Learning Standards addressing the same content.
(excerpt from PA CKC)
How to Use the Big Ideas Framework
The Big Ideas Framework is a companion document to the CKC and is designed to facilitate he regular and ongoing self-assessment and reflection for practicing professionals. Similar to he Big Ideas and Essential Questions for PA’s Learning Standards at each grade level, these Big Ideas describe the content within each Knowledge Area and help to categorize the information into key concepts. The Essential Questions further describe the Knowledge Area’s focus and can be used as the starting point for self-reflection and assessment. These questions will guide
individuals’ thinking about their Competency Level in each Knowledge Area and the kinds of information or types of skills they may want to enhance or acquire.
The Individual Professional Development Plan and Reflection form is the written summary of the important work the professional and supervisor have done together. It details the decisions that have been made about professional development goals and links them to the Core Knowledge Competencies. Additionally, it offers the professional an opportunity to assess the learning that has occurred from related professional development experiences and to consider enhancements or additional knowledge that are integrated into practice as a result. This becomes the individual’s professional development plan. Both administrators/directors and direct-line professionals may find varied uses and strategies for implementing the Big Ideas Framework. The following suggestions are offered as a guide.
The Process Starts Here!
The beginning of the decision-making process starts with self-assessment and reflection. Thinking about a combination of new learning opportunities, past experiences, and the way in which new knowledge can be applied to work experiences to enhance one’s work with children and families helps every professional create her/his own specialized professional development plan. This plan must be meaningful for the practitioner’s current circumstance and relate to future goals, interests, and short term needs. Self-assessment and reflection, together, offer a way in which strengths and challenges are identified and balanced with new professional development opportunities to improve skills and expand horizons.
While self-assessment and reflection is conducted by the professional alone, the next step is to discuss those thoughts with a supervisor or administrator. Together, a meaningful conversation should take place where a summary of this assessment and reflection is shared as the starting point in a discussion about the professional’s strengths, challenges, and professional development interests. This confidential conversation must be one in which the pair, together, designs a professional development plan that uses the information from the assessment and reflection,
the CKC documents and the program’s resources and identified needs as the guide.