Plan & Implement Staff Development Activities That Reflect the Characteristics of Effective Professional Development
Professional development should take place within the context of schools.
Professional development should be seen as an extension of a district’s or school’s overall school improvement plan. Activities should be assessment-driven and clearly linked to student learning targets rather than chosen at random.
Professional development reform models characterized by on-the-job training, extensive follow-up, increased time and longer duration should be utilized.
Research indicates traditional models of professional development such as brief, one-session workshops, training, and single conference sessions appear to have little impact on teacher behavior. Therefore, professional development beyond quick, one-time presentations should be planned and implemented.
Utilize group formats for teacher professional development.
Professional development is best conducted with groups of teachers from the same school, grade, or department rather than by drawing together individuals from different schools. Among benefits for teachers working collaboratively are increased opportunities to talk over learned knowledge, concepts and skills as well as collaboratively confronting problems that arise during implementation within their unique context.
Select and use professional development models exposing teachers to content that helps them deepen their subject-area knowledge and specific pedagogical practices.
Professional development appears to be most successful when it focuses on specific rather than generic or all-purpose content. Research also points to the benefit of using professional development activities that incorporate active learning, including such activities as discussion about content, hands-on practice opportunities, and discussion of possible implementation issues.
Develop professional development plans around a system and organizational structures that can support it.
Strong, engaged, and supportive leadership personnel play an instrumental role in building a professional development program that embeds the characteristics of evidence-based, professional development practices. It is through this type of professional learning that teacher effectiveness will increase and improved outcomes for all students will be achieved.
Professional Development Presentation
- Part 1 (8:01)
Once you have identified your staff needs, this presentation will assist you with planning professional development activities that will have the greatest impact on instruction, and thereby student learning. Reform models of professional development focus on purposeful planning and continuity among staff. The importance of school leadership and in-classroom follow-up are discussed as key characteristics of effective professional development.