Our mission is to significantly enhance the quality of education for children and youth through the personal and professional development of educators.

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Rutherford Learning Group, Inc. is a research and professional development consultancy focused on high performance teaching and effective leadership.

With over 25 years experience and study, RLG designs and delivers award winning training, media resources, institutes, and customized professional development services to education clients worldwide.


The Artisan Teacher: A Field Guide to Skillful Teaching

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ISBN No. 978-0-9914724-0-6
Author: Mike Rutherford, Ed.D., Copyright © 2013, All rights reserved.
Publisher: Rutherford Learning Group, Inc., Weddington, NC 179 pages, paperback
Cover and interior book design by Larry W. Van Hoose
Illustrations by Laurette Clark Wolfe

logoThe Artisan Teacher The Artisan Teacher provides an in-depth examination of 23 themes of teacher artisanship. It is intended for k-12 teachers and those responsible for developing and supporting teachers.

An artisan is a craftsperson. Stonemasons, coppersmiths, bakers, tanners, playwrights, songwriters, and tailors are artisans. The fruits of their labor have utility. The item’s value is not entirely based on utility, however. It is also based on beauty, design, and delight. The artisan creates a thing that is not only sturdy and functional, but beautiful, and delightful to use. An artisan is one skilled in the applied arts, a craftsperson… a unique combination of artist, scientist, and skilled laborer. Excellent teachers are just like this. They are Artisans- artful, knowledgeable, skilled, master craftsmen.


logo2 copyDeveloping the Artisan Teacher The Skillful Observation and Coaching Laboratory (SOCL) is a school-embedded professional development experience that builds instructional leadership capacity for administrators, instructional coaches, curriculum specialists, and/or anyone who is responsible for the development of teachers and teaching. SOCL participants observe classroom teaching in small groups, practice collecting relevant data, analyze and discuss the observation to clarify patterns of effective instruction, identify teacher talents and strengths, and provide the teacher with growth-evoking feedback and coaching. 

As a part of the Developing the Artisan Teacher™ curriculum, SOCL participants will learn to recognize 23 Themes of Teacher Talent and will learn to utilize 7 Tools for Developing Teachers and Teaching. The SOCL typically spans two years with participants meeting four times per year at local schools for facilitated observations and feedback/coaching demonstrations.