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Professional Interest Communities

Professional Interest Communities

Connect with Members who Share Their Subject-Matter Expertise

ASCD Professional Interest Communities are member-initiated, special-interest groups designed to unite people around a common area of interest in the field of education. 

Professional Interest Communities allow participants to

  • exchange ideas

  • share information

  • identify and solve problems

  • grow professionally

  • establish collegial relationships

Flexible, fluid, and based on the needs of its participants, each professional interest community is operated independently and provides different educational resources to its members. 


Start an ASCD Professional Interest Community

Explore the Professional Interest Communities FAQ for more information about Professional Interest Communities and how to start one.

ASCD Professional Interest Communities Directory

Advancing Issues Regarding Race and Equity 

  • Connects educators interested in supporting equitable outcomes students regardless of culture or race.

  • Explores critical issues that support school improvement and reform focused on reducing the achievement gap between racial and ethnic subgroups.

Facilitator: Kelly Brown 

Brain-Compatible Learning 

  • Promotes awareness and understanding of how brain research translates into practice.

  • Shares information on brain-compatible education through conferences, workshops, and newsletters

  • Connects educators with mutual interest in the brain as the organ for learning.

Facilitators: Pauline Stonehouse 

Early Childhood Education 

  • Fosters the dissemination of information, knowledge, research, and resources among individuals who share a common purpose and commitment to early childhood education.

  • Examines critical issues in order to promote understanding and thinking skills, placing an emphasis on planning and implementing developmentally appropriate practices and programs.

Facilitators: Tim KinardKathleen Fite 


  • A community in which educators can come together and create self-care routines with fitness and nutrition plans that will help them burn stress, fuel appropriately and gain energy.

Facilitators: Kim Meyer 

Gifted and Advanced Learners 

  • Raise awareness regarding the unique academic, social, and emotional needs of gifted and advanced learners.

  • Serve as a forum for current and relevant dialogue regarding designing, supporting, and sustaining effective, diverse gifted education programs and services.

  • Support and advocate for equity and access of culturally, linguistically, and socio-economically diverse gifted and advanced learners to gifted education programs.

  • Share promising practices and current research in the field of gifted education.

Higher Education and K–12 in Service of Teaching and Learning (HEKSTL) 

  • Focuses on the connections between higher education and K–12 as they influence preservice and inservice teacher preparation to improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools.

  • Informs and contributes to the discussion about "research-based" decision making as it relates to teaching (training).

  • Enhances the ASCD value of partnering by collaborating with more institutions of higher education.

  • Identifies and develops collaboration models that match the needs of a variety of institutions.

Facilitator: Diane Heacox 

Hispanic/Latino American Critical Issues 

  • Commits to enhancing the academic achievement of Hispanic/Latino American youth.

  • Serves as a forum on contemporary and relevant issues as related to the education of Hispanic/Latino American youth.

  • Strives to narrow the achievement gap and increase input of Hispanic/Latino American educators on relevant educational issues.

Interdisciplinary Curriculum and Instruction 

  • Promotes the development, implementation, and evaluation of interdisciplinary curriculum at all levels of education.

  • Helps members share information on integration of cross-disciplinary approaches.

Facilitator: Lois Stanciak 

International Alliance for Invitational Education 

  • Members share the mission to enhance lifelong learning and promote positive change in organizations.

  • Cultivates the personal and professional growth and satisfaction of educators and allied professionals.

Facilitators: Melissa CainJoan R. Fretz 

Literacy, Language, and Literature 

  • Serves as a resource of professional interests and concerns relating to policy and practice in the language arts instructions program.

  • Provides opportunities for sharing inquiry and response concerning mutual efforts in areas of language, literacy, and literature.

  • Provides information on materials to teach the arts of language and literature and on application across the curriculum.

  • Serves as a reference for annotated professional and children's books and highlights from current professional journals.

Facilitator: Esther Fusco 

Mentoring Leadership and Resource 

  • Shares experiences with others involved in mentoring.

  • Learns from others about their mentor programs.

  • Provides a vehicle for mentoring initiatives.

  • Promotes new teacher induction training.

  • Establishes models for professional development through mentoring.

Facilitators: Richard LangeAmelia Hicks 


Multiple Intelligences 

  • Promotes the use of multiple intelligences as a tool to improve individual instruction and help all students learn.

  • Provides a forum for members to share strategies and techniques for implementing multiple intelligences.

Facilitator: Thomas Hoerr 

Performance Assessment for Leadership 

  • Promotes an integrated view of the educational leader's role.

  • Advocates the improvement of educational leadership programs.

  • Provides a forum for sharing what works in performance-based assessment in leadership preparation programs.

  • Influences planning and evaluation groups, such as accreditation and state-related organizations, to align practice with research.

  • Provides opportunities to engage with colleagues in reflective dialogue and self-renewing practice.

Facilitators: Barbara PolnickKarla Eidson 

Personalized Learning 

  • Advocating for our schools in meeting the needs of 21st century learners, Personalized Learning is an intentional shift in our approach to teaching and learning. 

  • Components of discussion include mastery learning, instructional technology, and flexible learning environments in terms of space, time and pace, so they are student-driven with a teacher-facilitated approach.

Facilitator: Jill Thompson 

Professional Capital 

  • Exploring the need for collective action by teachers and leaders to drive effective and long lasting change in our schools.

  • A fresh approach to strengthen professional effectiveness.

Facilitator: Pauline Stonehouse 

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) 

In today's age of accountability, schools are called upon to increase student achievement. One strategy utilized to improve instruction and thereby increase student achievement is to employ teacher collaboration through professional learning communities.  

This ASCD Professional Interest Community provides a forum for educators to share research, explore the benefits and associated challenges of professional learning communities, and network with others on the topic.

Facilitator: Lori Stollar 

Student-Driven Learning 

This ASCD Professional Interest Community seeks to help more schools educate the whole child by empowering that child to be the main driver in their own education.

Find out how it's working across the globe and the steps you can take to make it a reality in your school.

Facilitator: Jethro Jones