The book that Andy Hargreaves and I wrote, Professional Capital, is a new way of thinking about the profession. Professional capital refers to qualities within and among professionals that we can and should invest in with our time, effort, commitment and ingenuity. The human capital of individuals’ knowledge and skill is a precious asset. The decisional capital of effective judgment needs deliberate investment and development over time. The social capital of the teaching profession is about the power of what teachers can achieve together by moving ideas around and taking collective responsibility for everyone’s success. Together, human, social and decisional capital, make a powerful combination. For us, the idea of professional capital became a succinct way to understand these three simple elements and their interrelationship: how to get better individually and together, and how to deliberately promote the high quality of teaching over time. The idea has gained quite a bit of recognition, including two book awards, one of which the 2014 Grawemeyer Award in Education “pays tribute to the power of creative ideas, emphasizing the impact a single idea can have on the world”.
The book, Professional Capital, has become a best seller that is widely endorsed by teacher unions, school leaders and school systems alike. We are asked time and again to talk about the concept and to work with various jurisdictions. People have kept asking us for tools on professional capital that they can use to review their own schools and systems so, collaboratively, they can make improvements together and check how they are progressing over time. To address this need we have spent over a year in developing, field-testing and validating a simple but focused survey to measure professional capital as perceived by teachers, and by principals.
Some early versions of this have been and still are downloadable open access, free of charge for people to use. But over and over educators have also asked for interpretation and analysis of what their own results mean and what they can learn from the data they have collected. For this reason, we have developed an online version of the survey that provides immediate feedback.
The PC (Professional Capital) Survey is therefore now available online on a modest cost-recovery basis so that teachers, schools and districts can obtain profiles of their own professional capital as a stimulus for further action and reflection together. The PC survey is not an instrument of supervision or control, but a tool for shared review to stimulate dialogue, thinking and action about change and improvement.
We think that this survey, and the action it generates, will stimulate the further development of Professional Capital in education systems around the world. We look forward to working with many of you on the next stage of this critical work.
The technical aspect of the survey has been set up and will be maintained by Conexus, a Norwegian company that specializes in learning analytics and professional learning. Their CX Analysis portal is secure and robust. All data on individuals are private and confidential.
We invite you to participate with us to examine and improve the quality of professional capital in your work, and the impact you can have on each other and on the learning success of all students.
Michael Fullan, September 1, 2016.