Posted: Thu, 09/13/2018 - 9:58am Updated: Tue, 03/05/2019 - 8:16am

Professional Learning Plans: A Workbook for States, Districts, and Schools

Background on this Tool

Professional learning plans are used by individuals, schools, districts and states to strategically coordinate the implementation of professional learning. Professional learning plans help guide school and/or district leaders to design professional learning opportunities that are job embedded, goal driven and focused on student outcomes. Too often, professional learning occurs in the form of trainings that are occasional and seemingly randomized meetings that typically have little or no connection to one another and therefore fail to produce substantial change. Professional learning plans should include application, analysis, reflection, coaching, refinement, and evaluation of effectiveness to produce results for educators and students. Additionally, these plans should address student learning goals.

Guidance on How to Leverage this Tool

Districts and schools that are interested in developing a Professional Learning Plan for their educators can follow this step by step guide. The process includes: a needs analysis, goal setting, objectives, strategic actions/interventions, timeline, person(s) responsible, indicators of success, measures of success, evaluation plan, and resources. Optional components include: assumptions, theory of change, and logic model. This tool provides the background information for each of these process steps and optional components as well as a host of tools to guide district and school leaders through the process.

Getting Started with the Professional Learning Plans Workbook

Districts or schools interested in developing a Professional Learning Plan for their educators should download the workbook and tools that will guide their process. First steps begin with a needs analysis. Many schools are already conducting a Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) as part of their school improvement process and could use this workbook to help form their CNA planning committee.


Killion, J. Professional learning plans: A workbook for states, districts, and schools. Oxford, OH: Learning Forward. For more information, visit this webpage.