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Theory of Change

There are five traditional professional development options that we educators normally would deploy. And yes, each has core benefits:

Webinars provide information

Keynotes inspire and motivate

Conferences facilitate networking and program sharing

Trainings teach tactics

Strategic Planning identifies goals/metrics

Conference Lecture

But they are insufficient to move the needle. 

In three pivotal ways, these approaches systemically fail. These traditional professional development options do NOT: 


Systemically advance our institutional conversation towards individualized education


Galvanize broader commitment for career-connected learning and holistic education


Change institutional culture

These three goals drove the creation of Catapult.  But to be achieved, we don’t just need better speakers, different programs, or stronger assessments. We needed a new model for professional development, and a revolutionary approach to hybrid-flexible learning.  

Leveraging over 20 years in educational transformation, conducting an extensive literature review of the research, and conducting dozens of focus groups, Dr. Kevin J. Fleming identified the 12 elements required for professional development to effectively advance systemic, institution-wide commitments and culture change.

By design, each Catapult masterclass goes beyond traditional webinars and virtual conferences by leveraging the best of synchronous, asynchronous, virtual, and in-person andragogy.

Moving forward, truly effective professional development must:

1. be a shared experience (≥16% of employees)

2. clarify the Why 
3. be presented in diverse ways from different voices
4. be informed by external subject matter experts
5. take place over time
6. have a student-centered, systems-focus 
7. be rooted in learning science & an inquiry-based approach (reflection & practice) 
8. be cohort-based
9. have local applicability and follow-up/accountability 
10. result in tactics and/or planning
11. have a strong ROI
12. be offered in a hybrid-flexible format

Catapult was created for educators by educators using these twelve approaches as the bedrock for our entire model. While Catapult masterclasses inform, motivate, and inspire individuals every day, it is at the institutional level that these twelve elements begin to alter mindsets, metrics, and educational relevancy itself.

Catapult’s innovative approach braids together the best of learning science, organizational change, hybrid-flexible learning modality, subject matter expertise, and strategic planning. Within each masterclass, the steps below in red are provided by Catapult, which alternate among institutional action noted in blue.

Image by Susan Q Yin
Prepare for Success:

A Leader's Guide and pre-masterclass orientation shall be provided by Catapult to each institution. We outline expectations, the timeline of professional development, guidance on staffing your Implementation Team, and the technical assistance available. A dedicated Success Coach is assigned, and/or Live Q&A session dates are mutually established in advance. All registrations are also coordinated early in the process to ensure complete access to the masterclass platform and coordinated communication to all employees.

Audience and Lecturer
Dynamic Keynotes:

Each masterclass presentation is made available to all employees on-demand. The equitable distribution of professional development opportunities through institution-wide masterclasses  provides access for EVERYONE. All FT/PT teachers, faculty, classified professionals, staff, administrators, and elected Board members. Each thought leader and subject master expert has a successful track record and germane expertise to motivate, inspire, and inform regardless of classification or scope.   

Image by lilartsy

Each paradigm-shifting masterclass is coupled with a unique, interactive Playbook to increase employee engagement, learning, meaningful reflection, practice, and tactical planning. Personally curated with each speaker, Catapult ensures its content aligns and supports their message with relevant implementation guidance. 

Image by Jason Goodman
Team Debrief:

Brief huddles shall be coordinated for each institution's Implementation Team. This will help identify key points and questions from the keynote in preparation for the individual coaching calls or Live Q&A sessions. 

Smiling Colleague
Collect Feedback:

Feedback is solicited from all employees to members of the Implementation Team to afford a constant feedback loop in between front-line employees, the planning of tactics by the Team, and each Catapult speaker. This is often operationalized through simple emails, live events, or online surveys.

Support Group
Tailored Coaching Call or Q&A:

A local Implementation Team (comprised of 5-12 people, identified by the institution) will also receive a 30-minute, institution-specific coaching session, by each speaker and your dedicated Catapult Success Coach. The goal for each coaching session is to identify a few specifically-tailored tactics for effective progress forward in alignment with each institution’s strategic plan and local initiatives/goals.  Brief coaching sessions ensures ongoing accountability, deep learning, and tactical planning too often absent from other PD models. Alternatively, institutions may opt for a Live Q&A session open to the entire community. 

Image by GeoJango Maps

During this summary step, Implementation Teams organize their Playbook materials and teams summarize their future planning steps during a final Debrief Session facilitated by your Catapult Success Coach.  Institutions also receive virtual huddles and asynchronous cohort support within our platform throughout the term.  Each institution will continue to receive broad motivation and transformational support as they identify, and implement, the right sequential step(s) forward with intentionally.

The Result

An expert informed, research guided, mission aligned, shared experience resulting in broader buy-in, galvanized support, and meaningful learning.  Your institution receives a focused plan with germane next steps and an incredible ROI. Individual employees receive paradigm-changing approaches and an opportunity to grow and contribute.  All without leaving your classrooms, departments, or families. 

Audience and Lecturer


See why Educational Institutions rely on Catapult to provide relevant learning & development. Contact us Today.

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