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about 1 year ago

The Artisan Teacher is a comprehensive professional development program that builds and supports teacher efficacy by improving instructional practice.

Artisan: a person skilled in the applied arts: a craftsperson (

Granville County Public Schools has made a commitment over the past several years in using the Artisan Teacher concept to develop and retain teacher talent.  Administrators and teacher leaders in our district have invested considerable time and effort in learning the core principles and behaviors associated with this program under the professional development leadership of Mike Rutherford.  

Click here for the Rutherford Learning Group website.

Click here for the complete video library for the Artisan Teacher.

The 23 Talents

about 1 year ago

Developing The Artisanteacher

Memory Jogger


Clear Learning Goals:  The ability of the teacher to identify and precisely express what students will know and be able to do as a result of a lesson. 

Key terms:  Micro-goals (20 minute goals), content clarify (expressed as nouns), performance clarity (expressed as verbs).


Congruency:  The ability of the teacher to design classroom activities that are accurately matched to clear learning goals. 

Key terms:  congruent vs. correlated or imposter activities.


Task Analysis:  The ability of the teacher to identify and sequence all the essential steps necessary for mastery of a learning goal.

Key terms:  roadmaps, dependent sequence, independent sequence, essential sub-learning, sub-learning – not activity.


Diagnosis:  The ability of the teacher to verify what students already know and can do for the purpose of determining where to begin instruction. 

Key terms:  formal, informal, inferential.


Overt Responses:  The ability of the teacher to regularly obtain evidence of student learning for the purpose of determining next steps for teaching/learning. 

Key terms:  all students, overt responses, during instruction – not after.


Mid Course Corrections:  The ability of the teacher to quickly adapt instruction to meet learning needs based on overt student responses. 

Key terms:  practice, re-teach, temporarily abandon, move on, extend, connect.


Conscious Attention:  The ability of the teacher to gain then focus students’ attention on a relevant learning activity. 

Key terms: invitation, discrepancy, emotional hook, finite attention, temporary attention.


Chunking:  The ability of the teacher to segment the curriculum and learning activities into manageable portions to avoid working memory overload. 

Key terms: working memory overload, serial processor, limited capacity.


Connection:  The ability of the teacher to establish a mental link between the intended learning and past learning or experiences. 

Key terms:  neural schema, neural network, misconception.


Practice:  The ability of the teacher to improve recall and application of learning through effective rehearsal, repeated effort, drill, repetition, study, and review. 

Key terms:  duration, amount, frequency, quality, cusp of mastery. 


Personal Relevance:  The ability of the teacher to embed the intended curriculum into issues and contexts that are linked to students’ survival or immediate well being.

Key terms:  interesting vs. personally relevant, two step process.


Locale Memory:  The ability of the teacher to enhance learning by organizing information around the learner’s position or “local” in three-dimensional space. 

Key terms:  spatial memory, navigation memory, map learning.


Mental Models:  The ability of the teacher to create a structure for learning using images, models, sensory experiences, symbol systems, and creative processing methodologies. 

Key terms:  artifact replication, image-text model, sensory-symbol model, L-R hemisphere processing model.


First Time Learning:  The ability of the teacher to capitalize on the brain’s tendency to attend to, process deeply, and recall information that is presented as new, original, or as an initial experience. 

Key terms:  degree of original learning, imprinting, accurate, complete, connected to reality, level three.


Neural Downshifting:  The ability of the teacher to reduce stress and threat in the classroom environment to avoid “survival mode” thinking and to increase higher order thinking. 

Key terms:  limbic system, amygdala, fight or flight response, survival thinking, physical threat, psychological threat, loss of control threat.


Enriched Environments:  The ability of the teacher to shape the physical and social environment of the classroom to enhance learning.   

Key terms:  Physical-attractive, engaging, changing.  Social - unconditional positive regard, relaxed alertness, positive rituals, special treatment, collaboration.


Success:  The ability of the teacher to increase and sustain student effort by designing and adapting learning tasks to ensure that students experience success. 

Key terms:  aptitude, persistence, perception, prior experience, value, consequences.


Performance Feedback:  The ability of the teacher to increase students’ persistence at a task by providing knowledge of results regarding students’ work. 

Key terms:  abundant, immediate, specific, successive approximation.


Stagecraft:  The ability of the teacher to enhance, deepen, or prolong student engagement by utilizing a theatrical treatment. 

Key terms:  props, music, lighting, scenery, A/V effects, animation, costume, body position, voice, choreography.


Complementary Elements:  The ability of the teacher to sequence instructional experiences that build on the preceding and set the stage for the subsequent. 

Key terms:  yin-yang, contrast, addition, generalization, categorization, essence, role swap, big picture-details, preliminary practice.


Time and Timing:  The ability of the teacher to strategically manage the duration of learning activities and the intervals between instructional elements in order to optimize learning. 

Key terms:  duration (time) interval (timing) – pauses, transitions, segues, wait time, readiness (timing) – cognitive readiness, emotional readiness, experiential readiness, energy readiness.


Personal Presence:  The ability of the teacher to become a person of significance in the lives of students and to use this position to enhance student engagement. 

Key terms:  influence, persuasion, interpersonal connection, affinity, interest, respect, admiration, loyalty, importance, efficacy, unconditional positive regard, complex duality, unique selling proposition, loss of self-consciousness, presence in the moment, being influence-able.


Delight:  The ability of the teacher to create instances of learning that are extra-memorable by designing a “positive surprise” something that is exceptionally pleasing and unexpected.

Key terms:  memory response to surprise, “waypoints” of learning, design delight, preparation delight, exceeds expectations delight, random act of positivity delight, twist of plot delight, suspense-resolution delight.

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