Prof. Kennedy Launches Free Video Series to Support Teachers

New Video Series Uses Real Classroom Demonstrations of High-Leverage Practices (HLPs) HLPs Address the Most Critical Practices Every K–12 Teacher Should Master

Michael Kennedy, associate professor of special education, has taken a leading role in developing a series of free, online High-Leverage Practices videos. The videos were released this week by The Council for Exceptional Children. 

In a collaborative partnership, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is excited to announce the release of the first five videos in the High-Leverage Practices (HLPs) video series. The purpose of the video series is to support teacher educators and professional development providers with research-based practices that are concrete, easy-to-access examples of HLPs in action, in real classrooms, with real students, as well as supplement the information in the “High-Leverage Practices in Special Education” publication.

“Educators on the front lines want to soak up as much new knowledge as quickly as they can,” said Dr. Michael Kennedy, University of Virginia. “The video series my team produced offers an engaging way to access the ideas introduced within the print-based HLPs materials. By featuring teachers and students from a range of grade levels and classrooms, with the common thread being implementation of these HLPs, we hope the audience will be empowered to take hold of these new practices.”

These five videos are the beginning of the series that will expand on each of the 22 high-leverage practices. The first group of videos includes:

  • Welcome to our New Series on High-Leverage Practices
  • HLP #12: Systematically Design Instruction Towards Learning Goals
  • HLP #16: Use Explicit Instruction
  • HLP #18: Use Strategies to Promote Active Student Engagement
  • HLPs #8 and #22: Provide Positive and Constructive Feedback to Guide Students' Learning and Behavior

“When ‘High-Leverage Practices in Special Education’ was released in April 2017, I implemented a study group in Michigan with special education administrators in 16 Intermediate School Districts (ISDs). Pairing the videos with the book can be transformational for teachers. They will enhance the knowledge and techniques that the administrators will use to help teachers benefit from using the HLPs,” said Laurie VanderPloeg, CEC president and Kent ISD director of special education. “We are eager to implement a professional development program utilizing the videos in order that teachers in 208 districts and charter schools in Michigan are best prepared to work with all students.”

The individual practices in the HLPs are intended to address the most critical practices that all teachers should master and be able to demonstrate. The selected practices are used frequently in classrooms and have been shown to improve student outcomes if successfully implemented. Many teachers are faced with the challenge of teaching students with some of the most complex learning and behavioral difficulties. With the release of the HLPs video series, educators can now see the practices in action and implement them in their classrooms.

The HLPs Video Series was developed by a joint partnership of the following organizations:

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the educational success of children and youth with exceptionalities that accomplishes its mission through advocacy, standards, and professional development. Learn more about CEC at

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