Professional Development Reports

Principal Professional Development: Results of a National Survey

January 2022

The sudden shift to remote learning at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic carved out new responsibilities for students and educators alike. Almost overnight, educators reconfigured lesson plans and students adjusted to new expectations and study habits. As time passed and some schools returned to in-person learning, students and teachers navigated social distancing, quarantine policies, and periodic closures on top of their normal instruction.

Just as the COVID-19 crisis upended the traditional classroom environment, it shuffled priorities and compounded existing challenges for school leaders. Principals rushed to implement 1:1 computing, establish COVID-19 safety protocols, and respond to the changing demands of remote and hybrid instruction. Their job description changed and their needs for professional knowledge and training shifted along with it.

This report examines data from an EdWeek Research Center survey of educators conducted between August 25 and September 8, 2021. The survey asked participants a range of questions on how professional development is provided in their districts. The results shed light on the kinds of professional development (PD) that principals need most as they reflect on the challenges of the past school year and plan for the future.

Coverage of leadership, expanded learning time, and arts learning is supported in part by a grant from The Wallace Foundation, at Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.