Professional Learning Videos

Some of the best professional learning is neither expensive nor prescribed. These videos provide a motivational perspective on lesson study, shadowing students, home visits, community walks, and learning walks. The six minute videos are examples of accessible, inexpensive, and intrinsically motivating approaches to adult learning and school improvement in under-resourced schools. They support teachers’ awareness and respect for students and families, and commitment to highly motivating and culturally responsive teaching. They support the idea that schools should be places where teachers and students love to learn.

High School

Bowen High School Lesson Study

This brief video shows how Chicago public high school teachers use “the motivational framework for culturally responsive teaching” to create a lesson, watch a teacher teach the lesson, and afterwards, work together to improve the lesson in ways that enhance the team’s instructional knowledge.

Data-in-a-day: Teacher Professional Development

Nia Abdullah, EdD Urban Education Leadership student at the UIC College of Education and school principal at Bowen High School, leads a Data-in-a-Day workshop as teachers, school leaders, students and community members examine the school’s strengths and weaknesses through observation and data analysis.

Shadowing students in an urban high school

The 6 minute DOE-funded video shows how teachers set up, implemented, and reflected on shadowing two different students in a S. Chicago public high school. The book, Transformative Professional Learning (Corwin Press, 2011) has a step-by-step guide in Chapter 3.

How one urban high school connects to the community through community walks

6 minute community walk video shows how urban high school teachers and students work together to meet neighbors, explore the community, productively change deficit thinking about schools, neighborhoods, and youth, and increase enrollment.

Primary Education

Lesson Study in dual-language early childhood public school classroom

Lesson Study in dual-language early childhood public school classroom.

Leading classroom visits with teachers to look for intrinsic motivation

6 minute video shows how ed. leaders and teachers visit classrooms to see how colleagues create motivational conditions for deep learning.

Family Partnership Office: Illahee home visit program

Home visit program piloted at Illahee Middle School with the support of the Family Partnership Office, and now being expanded to other schools in the district.

Lesson Study: Part One – Explaining the Process

This down-to-earth lesson study video was recorded by Scott Macklin with a dynamite team of teachers and an award-winning principal at an elementary school in Seattle that I partnered with when I taught at UW-Seattle. The school saw double digit increases in math scores over the course of the teachers’ and principal’s lesson study work.

Lesson Study: Part Two – Math and Motivation

This video shows what the lesson we designed with the motivational framework for culturally responsive teaching looked like in practice. Because it was a lesson study, each of the adults in the room had a rubric to note “wows” and “wonders” for one of the 4 motivational conditions. For example, I looked for the motivational condition of Establishing Inclusion (respect & connectedness). Someone else looked for Developing a Positive Attitude (choice & relevance), and so forth. Copies of the rubric are available at or in the book, Excited to Learn: Motivation & Culturally Responsive Teaching (Corwin Press). You can also send me a note requesting them.

Lesson Study Part 3: Debriefing the Motivating Math Lesson

This video shows how the lesson study team of teachers shared insights about what they observed once the lesson concluded. For each of the 4 conditions of the motivational framework for culturally responsive teaching they discussed “wows” and “wonders.” Afterwards the teacher and the entire team set goals for themselves.