School Mental Health Project

Continuing Education Modules & Training Tutorials:
Self-directed opportunities to learn

In addition to offering Quick Training Aids, the Center's Continuing Education Modules and Training Tutorials are designed as self-directed opportunities for more in-depth learning about specific topics. These resources provide easy access to a wealth of planfully organized content and tools that can be used as a self-tutorial or as a guide in training others. As with most of our resources, these can be readily downloaded from our website - - see Center Materials and scroll down to VI.

In the coming years, the Center will continue to develop a variety of continuing education modules and training tutorials related to the various topics covered by our Clearinghouse. In all its work, the Center tries to identify resources that represent "best practice" standards. We invite you to browse through this first set of modules and tutorials, and if you know of better material, please provide us with feedback so that we can make improvements.


Using the Modules and Tutorials to Train Others

A key aspect of building capacity at schools involves ongoing staff and other stakeholder learning and development.* Those who are responsible for facilitating the training of others can use the Center's Continuing Education Modules and Training Tutorials to upgrade their repertoire and as resources in providing stakeholder training opportunities. With respect to training others, below are a few general reminders.

  • Start where they're at. Good learning and teaching experiences are built on the concept of a good "match" (or "fit"). This involves both capabilities and interest (e.g., motivational readiness). From this perspective, it is essential to work with learner perceptions about what they want to learn and how they want to learn it. Thus, you might begin by finding out from those at the school:

    • What are their most pressing concerns (e.g., what range of topics are of interest, and within a broad topic, what subtopics would be a good starting point)?

    • How deeply do they want to cover a given subject (e.g., brief overview or in-depth)?

    • How would they like to organize learning opportunities?

Also, in terms of a good match, it is invaluable to capitalize on "teachable moments." Occurrences frequently arise at a school that result in the need for staff to learn something quickly. These teachable moments provide opportunities to guide staff to the type of resources included in the Continuing Education Modules and Training Tutorials. These resources can be drawn upon to create displays and provide handouts and then following-up by engaging staff in discussions to explore relevant experiences and insights.

  • "Preheat" to create interest. Do some "social marketing." Put up some displays; provide prospective learners with a few interesting fact sheets; hold a brief event that focuses on the topic.

  • Active Learning. Although reading is at the core of the modules and tutorials, active learning and doing is essential to good learning. Active learning can be done alone or in various group configurations. The point is to take time to think and explore. Study groups can be a useful format. Individual and group action research also provides application opportunities.

  • Follow-up for ongoing learning. Provide information on resources for ongoing learning. Plan ways to offer follow-up discussions and exploration in general and in personalized ways with those who want and need more.

*There is a great deal of material discussing ways to pursue effective staff development in schools. An organization that is devoted to this arena is the National Staff Development Council (NSDC). It's library of information (see - provides guidelines, tools, and access to the Journal of Staff Development. The organization's emphasis is on a "how-to" format, offering a variety of effective, step-by-step models developed by practitioners who base their methods on research and real-world experiences.