What Is Pathways?
Pathways is a year-long professional development program intended to support individuals and cross-disciplinary teams of teachers as they explore ways to better support their students' complex and diverse literacy needs. The resources and activities are provided in a secure, online environment that teachers can easily access from any computer with internet access.
What topics are available?
Advancing Adolescent Literacy
21st Century Literacies
How Is the Program Structured?
The Pathways resources and activities are structured around key inquiry questions and educational strands. Teachers approach these questions and strands in any order they like based on local needs and interests. The learning design within each strand moves teachers through a process of building new knowledge through engaging with multimodal resources like professional readings, on-demand web seminars, and podcasts, and then applying that learning in their own classroom with support from classroom videos, sample lesson plans, and planning & teaching ideas. Throughout this process teachers are continually prompted and encouraged to record their thoughts and reflections using tools provided in the online environment, and they are also encouraged to engage as a member of the Pathways learning community by sharing their experiences in the discussion forum.
What makes this experience different from other PD experiences?
NCTE’s Pathways is not a one-size-fits-all program and is much more dynamic than an online course. There are multiple pathways to pursue based on upon your local needs. Additionally, the Pathways community features provide continual opportunities to share your thoughts or questions with colleagues via the team and national discussion forums. All experiences are grounded in NCTE's Principles of Professional Development.
Why have schools chosen to participate in Pathways?
- Integrates easily into existing professional development structures and priorities
- Offers sustained professional development that continues beyond the one-day workshop model
- Includes tools to assess teacher and student learning
- Creates a professional community for teachers across the disciplines and a national network of educators who value professional learning and collaboration
- Provides access to a variety of multimodal resources in an online environment
Why choose online professional development vs. face to face?
NCTE’s Pathways supports professional learning communities who operate face-to-face and/or in an online environment. Local school-based study groups can continue to interact in face-to-face meetings and enhance their learning by expanding their conversations to a national audience of peers. The online environment also allows schools to engage with a wider range of resources at an affordable price. For teams such as affiliates of professional organizations that are not centrally located, Pathways offers the ability to communicate and share team files in one central location.
What research base informs the experiences?
The Pathways experiences and resources draw on multiple research bases including the social construction of knowledge, funds of knowledge (Moll), and the role that oral language development plays on reading and writing. The contents of this experience are drawn from decades worth of work on effective literacy instruction, including differentiated instruction, high expectations, clear purpose, and authentic experiences.
Other Questions on Pathways or other NCTE PD opportunities?
Contact NCTE’s E-Learning Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800/369-6283 x3627.
Schools, districts, regional education offices, state departments of education, and universities have used Pathways as a basis for their professional development efforts. You will find brief summaries of some of these implementation models here.
Using Pathways with College Courses
Pathways makes an excellent alternate to the traditional college textbook for many undergraduate, graduate, and alternative certification courses. With its access to classroom videos, professional readings, on-demand web seminars, and sample lesson plans and instructional tools, Pathways is a flexible resource that aligns well with courses such as Literacy Across the Content Areas, English Methods, Instructional Technology, 21st Century Literacies, and courses that introduce pre-service teachers to working with English Language Learners in their mainsteam classes. For more information visit http://www.ncte.org/pathways/universities.
What steps should I take to join?
Visit https://secure.ncte.org/store/pathways to enroll.
Team or Individual?
The Individual enrollment option is intended for those educators who wish to engage in a deep professional learning experience but do not have such opportunities offered through their school.
The Team enrollment option supports the collaborative needs of teams with added features including Site Facilitator training, a team discussion forum, and a common location for shared team files. Teams might consist of educators from a school or district, state groups such as affiliates or language arts coordinators, or any other group that wishes to engage with professional resources in an online environment that promotes collaboration and communication.
What level teachers does it support?
How much does it cost to participate?
|Pathways Enrollment||Individual||University Courses||Schools & Districts|
21st Century Literacies
$95 per student
Course Instructor free
|$200 per team member*|
*10% discount for teams of 10 or more and complimentary access to Instructional Leadership Pathways for team facilitators
Who serves as site facilitators?
Typically school districts identify a Site Facilitator from within their staff, e.g., reading specialist, literacy coach, curriculum coordinator, instructional resource teacher. Site Facilitators should demonstrate qualities such as:
- experience in mentoring adults and facilitating professional learning
- involvement in learning from their own practice and ability to support colleagues in the same process
- knowledge in the field of literacy and literacy research consistent with NCTE and Initiative goals and philosophies
- knowledge of language development theory, practice, and research
- ability to work with the educational change process in a skilled and humane way
What if we do not have someone who is able to serve in the site facilitator role?
NCTE’s Professional Development Consulting Network offers a range of experienced consultants who can serve as your site facilitator remotely and/or lead on-site professional development experiences in your school/district. Contact NCTE Professional Development staff at email@example.com to learn more.
Do I have to enroll at a certain time of year?
No! Because of the self-paced, self-directed format of Pathways, participants can enroll at any time during the year. You will receive one full year of access from the date that you enroll.
What are the minimum technical requirements to participate in Pathways?
- Participants must have internet access.
- Minimum operating system requirements: Microsoft Windows 95/98, Windows NT 4.x or Windows 2000, Windows XP, Macintosh System 7 or current version of UNIX/Linux.
- Web Browser: The preferred web browser is Internet Explorer 7.0 (available as free download if you don't already have it). Mac users should use the latest version of Firefox (also available as a free download). Pathways is not compatible with Safari.
- Special note for Mac users: If you are not able to play the Pathways audio or video files it is likely that you are operating on an older version of Firefox that doesn’t include a required java plug-in, and you'll need to download the plug-in.
- Media Player: The preferred media player is Windows Media Player (available as free download). Many of the audio/video files are Flash files and require a Flash player.
- On-demand web seminars use Elluminate Live! software, a java-based program. You need to have Java loaded on your machine in order to play these files. The web seminars are very large .jar files and often take several minutes to open. If you are having difficulty opening the recording, please visit the Elluminate FAQ page for troubleshooting. While the files are housed on our streaming media server, some people operating on a slower connection may have more luck saving the file to their computer and playing it from there.
- The professional readings are provided as PDF files, and you must have Adobe Reader to open them.