2 Chapter Two -- Optimum Learning Literature Synthesis: What is Optimum Learning?

This synthesis of the literature is designed to undergird our 4-university longitudinal mixed methods study Optimum Learning for All Students Implementing Alberta’s 2018 Professional Practice Standards. Our ambition is to gain insights into how and how well Alberta’s Teaching Quality Standard, Leadership Quality Standard, and Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard are being put into place, how the standards are impacting practice, and what changes occur over time in teaching and learning. Indeed, our longitudinal design is premised on “uncovering sustained changes and implementation success” (Derrington, 2019, p. 8). Given this, our goals in preparing this manuscript were to (a) synthesize scholarship on policy processes so that we can situate our inquiry into the standards in a process-oriented way; (b) provide a jurisdictional review of standards-based approaches to teaching and leadership and what we know to be effective with respect to this approach so that we can discern how Alberta’s standards and pathways to certification are positioned compared to others who have gone before us; and (c) synthesize scholarship that demonstrates the link between the professional practice standards and quality teaching and leadership so that we are anchored to evidence when interpreting the forthcoming empirical data. Considering the comprehensiveness of the professional practice standards, we covered the waterfront, so to speak. But though we plumbed many strands and sources of knowledge, we do not claim it to be exhaustive or necessarily complete.
teaching, leadership, practice standards, implementation