Earn Graduate Credit for Professional Reading? Sounds Good To Me!

Teachers–have you ever wished you could be earning graduate course credit for all of the professional reading you do? I have! The books and articles I read about teaching have been a huge part of my professional development since I started teaching.  The reading I do has direct impact on my classroom teaching and helps me keep my approach current and inspired.  On top of that, in my blog, I often write about the lessons I learn from reading I do, or experiences I have in the classroom.  I’ve often wished I could get graduate credit for this work, since most schools offer pay differentials for course credits earned.

I was excited when I noticed a post on Facebook by Jossey Bass Education (where my own book will be published in October!) about a partnership they’ve developed with Cantor, called Read4Credit. The program allows teachers to read books from their collection about teaching and earn a semester course credit for the work they do.  The courses are self-paced, which I think works well for practicing teachers.  The price is $150 per course, and includes the e-version of the book, so this is much cheaper than most university courses.  They make reference to online course work in relation to the reading, of which there are not details offered online.  So that part is a mystery until I hear from someone who has tried this…

The part that excited me most about this is that the books offered are fantastic. From Dreamkeepers, by Gloria Ladson-Billings, to ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide by Larry Ferlazzo, these are books I would love a chance to sit down and fully read and digest-especially for course credit. The authors are true experts in the field.

I’d like to see more opportunities like this for teachers to get credit for self-directed studies. I don’t think something like this could ever take the place of the major elements of a graduate teacher preparation program, especially supervised fieldwork (student teaching or mentorship in the beginning years in the classroom.)  However, for teachers who already have their bearings and are eager to continue to grow and learn in their free time, Jossey Bass and Cantor seem like they are taking a great step in the direction of credentialing this learning.  I can also see this being great for teachers moving into leadership and coaching roles.  Teachers are often thrust into these roles with little preparation, but there’s so much great writing out there on topics from leading teacher teams to positive coaching.