CALP PD: Fact or Fiction?

Corrie Rhyasen Erdman, Community Learning Network

0 0 30 May 2023

There have been many exciting wins for CALP organizations this past year through professional development! Let’s see what you know about the training and learning opportunities that your Boards, staff and volunteers have access to...

1. Fact or Fiction? - CLN offers the same trainings year after year.

Yes, CLN has a core line-up of trainings offered each year. The goal is to give every CALP the same opportunity to train staff and build the capacity to deliver CALP required programming. Each year you can watch for these trainings:

  • Introduction to Adult Foundational Learning (required training)
  • CALP Essentials for Family Literacy Programs (required training)
  • A.L.L. in Family Literacy
  • New CALP Staff Webinar
  • CALP Guidelines 101
  • Tech Talk
  • Strengthening Literacy Practices
  • Holding Safer Spaces
  • CALP Database

BUT…CLN also offers new training opportunities each year based on our needs assessment and what we hear from you - CALP staff, Boards and volunteers – through evaluations and conversations with CLN staff. This last year CLN created new trainings, resurrected a previously offered training or brought in experts on topics of importance to CALPs, including:

  • Numeracy and Math Instruction
  • Indigenous Literacy Assessment
  • Trauma-Informed Care for Adult Educators
  • Designing the Online Learning Experience
  • Plain Language Workshop
  • Plain Language for Your CALP
  • Psychological First Aid

This statement is: FICTION. The same quality training is available year after year, but it is complemented by additional trainings that respond to emerging and changing training needs for CALP staff.

2. Fact or Fiction? - CALP Professional Development can be done without a trainer.

Not everyone has the time or availability to attend training in person or online. The good news is that the CALP Portal offers self-directed learning opportunities you can do on your own time and at your own pace. There are 15 e-Learnings on a range of topics suited for every CALP role. The top five most viewed e-Learnings this year, starting with the highest number of views, are:

  • Building Literacy: A Learner-Centred Guide for Teachers, Tutors & Practitioners of Adult Literacy
  • CALP Basics
  • Assessment for Learning
  • CALP-funded Family Literacy Program Operations
  • Outcomes-based Measurement and Evaluation for the Community Adult Learning Program

Did you know some of your greatest teachers for your professional learning are your peers?! CALP staff gathered to share and learn from each other at 52 different Communities of Practice events this year. Gathering in regional groups (e.g. Connections Café) or in groups with a shared focus or practice (e.g. literacy practitioners, Metis & Indigenous practitioners, topics related to Indigenous worldview) drew a total of 506 attendees over the year.

Two new Communities of Practice were launched this year and we heard great things from the many who attended!

  • CALP Community Talks About… These monthly conversations drew from the depth of wisdom, experience and enthusiasm for Community Adult Learning Programs. Topics were chosen from the field and attendees directed the conversations in ways that were timely and relevant to their work.
  • Holding Safer Spaces Open Circles pulled from the themes covered in Heather Plett’s book “The Art of Holding Space”, which is the basis of the full Holding Safer Spaces training that runs from January to March each year.

This statement is: FACT. CALP PD is available through trainer-led workshops, self-study and peer-to-peer connections.

3. Fact or Fiction? - Training is available online from September to May.

CLN offers training during the months that most CALP staff are available to take training. Historically, many CALPs closed over the summer, making it not an ideal time for training. However, that is changing as more and more CALPs continue to operate through the summer months. If you or your staff would be interested in taking Introduction to Adult Foundational Learning this summer please contact me.

This last year, we have slowly started to offer a few in-person trainings where there are enough people to fill the spaces. Psychological First Aid and Introduction to Adult Foundational Learning have been offered in person this year. Engaging with Indigenous Learners is also available on-site through the First Nations Colleges and University in Alberta. Check the June and August training calendar for upcoming dates.

This statement is:  FICTION. Most CLN training is online from September to May but there are also in-person options.
CLN is exploring the possibility of expanding outside of these months … depending on the level of interest. Please contact me or your Regional Support Staff if you would like to discuss training options for your CALP.

Closing Thoughts

I just have to say, the CALP system is really impressive! As adult learning practitioners we are part of a remarkable professional culture in CALP that places high value on staff’s learning. Over this past 2022-23 year, every CALP in Alberta sent one or more of their staff to at least one CLN training or Community of Practice event. From September to May, CLN offered 94 different events and had 842 attendees who not only registered but attended and completed the learning opportunity (and that does not include the Literacy and Learning Symposium or our PD partners' – Alberta Routes, Calgary Learns or ECALA’s – learning opportunities)! That means CALPs’ management and Boards prioritize professional development for staff. That’s a big win for adults in communities across the province who will have access to quality foundational learning not available to them anywhere else. 

Which professional development trainings were your favourite this year? We'd love to hear! Please share below.

Corrie Rhyasen Erdman
Training Manager




Sign in to view 0 comments