Professional development is one of the most difficult teacher issues to write about well. It sits right at the nexus of policy and practice, the research on PD is spotty, the common delivery methods (“spray ‘n pray” workshops) are positively archaic, and the really good examples are so classroom-based that it’s hard to talk about them in broad strokes.
So I’m excited about a report coming out next week. It’s expected to synthesize much of the research on staff development, draw from other countries that have had success developing teachers, and situate the U.S.'s current efforts in the context of those findings.
Linda Darling-Hammond, who spearheaded much of the report, gave some teasers about the findings back at the NSDC conference last December. Check those out here.
There’s an interesting political subtext here, and that’s that Arne Duncan, the newly appointed secretary of education, will be speaking at the release event next Wednesday. As will Ms. Darling-Hammond. Will we get a staffing announcement? Perhaps an outline of Mr. Duncan’s teacher-quality priorities?
Teacher Beat and Education Week are on the case, so stay tuned.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.