The Pacific Coast Teacher Innovation Network (PacTIN), housed at the UC Davis School of Education, was an early inspiration for the LIGHT Awards. Like the LIGHT Awards, PacTIN supported small teams of California teachers to implement professional development adapted to their schools over a two-to-three year period. PacTIN served 20 counties along California’s coast on behalf of the T-BAR (Teacher Based Reform) program of the California Postsecondary Education Commission, which provided over $9 million in funding to teachers drawn from across the state since 2009.

PacTIN administrators recently published an article in this month’s edition of Learning Forward association’s journal illuminating many positive outcomes of teacher-driven professional development. The findings are based on a survey taken last fall by all 287 participating teachers in the region. A few highlights to note include the following:

“Teachers report increased confidence and improved pedagogical practice, learning new content and teaching strategies, and an appreciation for the value of collaborative learning with their peers.”


“For this teacher-led approach to have a lasting impact beyond the direct participants and their close colleagues, administrative recognition, support, and participation is important.”

Support by fellow colleagues, administrative and district staff is critical to the implementation of change in schools. Many of our LIGHT Awards teams incorporate proactive measures to develop a “shared language” with their colleagues and administrators, helping to foster ripple effects of their important work.

To learn more about PacTIN’s findings, we recommend you check out “In the Driver’s Seat: Teacher-Led Model Moves Learning in the Right Direction” in June 2015’s JSD, the Learning Forward Journal.

Important Dates

Oct 5 – Nov 14, 2023 LOIs Accepted for 2024 Grant Cycle (rolling submissions)
By mid-Dec 2023 Invitations to Apply Extended to Selected LOI Submissions
Spring 2024 LIGHT Awards Grants Made

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