Smart Strategies for Teacher Professional Development
April 26, 2017
Professional development has the potential to not only improve teacher practice, but to make a real difference for students. But too often, professional development has been criticized as unfocused and irrelevant. But many school systems are overhauling their PD programs to tie them closely to teacher needs and to districtwide academic goals. In this special report, Education Week explores some of those efforts, including the rise of microcredentials, math training for preschool teachers, and programs aimed at supporting instructional coaches.
- Teacher Preparation Teachers Customize Professional Development Through MicrocredentialsTeachers see the value of showing their mastery of individual skills, but questions remain about the quality and rigor of microcredential programs.Professional Development Boston Program Supports Male Educators of Color"Executive coaching" is designed to help retain and groom male teachers by helping them navigate the specific challenges facing minority classroom leaders.Early Childhood Preschool Teachers Get a Boost in Teaching Early MathResearchers and educational foundations are targeting early educators for professional development in math, which is improving teacher morale as well as improving children’s school readiness.Teaching Instructional Coaches Get Specialized TrainingIn-classroom coaching has proven benefits for teachers, but working with adult learners requires developing trust-building and communication skills.School & District Management School Districts Update Professional DevelopmentClassroom needs, as well as new requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act, are leading to creative approaches to improving teachers' own learning and making it more effective.Teaching Profession Linking Professional Development to Teacher EvaluationsThe Boulder Valley District in Colorado built an online portal called MyPassport, intended to guide educators to professional development that matches their needs.School & District Management What Does It Look Like When Districts Connect PD to Academic Goals?In a new report, researchers at the nonprofit organization Education Resource Strategies studied the differences between typical districts and school systems that have made "connected professional learning" a core part of their academic strategy.Teacher Preparation Teachers Like Common Planning Time, Survey ShowsIn a survey, 58 percent of teachers said they had some or a lot of input on their professional development. Teachers also said they appreciated time for collaboration and new-teacher coaching.Professional Development Educators Share Their #BestPD, #WorstPDWe asked educators to share on Twitter the professional development that inspired them or that left them scratching their heads.