Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My thoughts on effective professional development


Blogger UAS Ed Tech said...

Where can we find the joint statement on professional development that you shared in your address? I'd like to share this with my graduate students and colleagues.

5:56 AM  
Blogger Mike Muir said...

In Maine, we have the first statewide 1to1 initiative and we've had to put a lot of energy into professional development. We've found that it needs to get people together to share what they are doing, what's working, and challenges they face. We start with an agenda, but it always get revised by the information we gather at the beginning about folks' successes and challenges. We always have enough expertice in the room to address the challenges and to teach others things they are interested in. Participante become presenters, too.

Also, when we work with a school, we introduce an idea and then always ask, "what does this mean for this school? For your classroom?"

And leadership is key. What expectations and supports the prinicpal provide make or break the work. Local PD is key, especially when embedded in the teacher's work day. Technology Integrators are one of the best pays to provide professional development to teachers through team teaching, modeling lessons, support in teacher designed lessons or just professional hand holding.

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Connecting to yesterday's keynote, Michelle Selinger spoke about how education moves slowly. We need to catch up and realize that teacher roles need to change -- along with technology.

Schools need to be transformed into learning communities. Systemic change needs to provide professional development opportunities for transformative experiences for large numbers of teachers, educators and practitioners.

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Institutions have a responsibility to prepare students into being active learners so they can participate effectively in the modern workplace out of secondary school or be prepared to enter higher education if academically qualified. Passive learners who show up to class and do not participate should not pass.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to stop thinking that a few workshops a year is professional development. We need to create opportunities for new teachers to be coached by master teachers. I am sure everyone has had that ONE teacher who made a real difference in your life. We need to let our newest teachers work under their guidance.

6:21 AM  
Blogger Helene said...

A small step in the journey of supporting educators is to shift our thinking by changing the term 'professional development' to ' professional learning'. This sends the message that we are always on a journey of learnng.

We tell educators to differentiate learning to suit the needs of their students. We need to respect that educators are just as unique in their learning as the students in front of them. Give educators lots of choices but allow them to choose a path that both engages them and empowers them to step outside their comfort zone.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Curby Alexander said...

Professional development tends to be a day long meeting where teachers meet in the library, eat bagels and go through the motions. Some productive things can happen in those meetings, but most of the professional development I've attended has been pretty passive and superficial. It needs to be ongoing, relevant and hold educators accountable for their development as professionals.

6:26 AM  
Blogger hickstro said...

If we believe that effective technology integration takes professional development, and we have models for it (like Mike shares from Maine’s 1-to-1 initiative), then what is really holding us up?

Is it because PD is typically passive, like Curby notes? Or, besides simply having enough computers, are there other institutional and organizational forces at work holding us back from doing this type of work? What types of understandings about technology will we need to develop before these PD conversations can begin?

6:33 AM  
Blogger Debbie Sprague said...

I invite those of you here at SITE to attend the Invited Panel tomorrow on Online Professional Development. It will address some models of professional developments and raise questions of what still needs to be done. It is at 11:15 on Wednesday.

6:34 AM  
Blogger Curby Alexander said...

I have participated in on-line staff development and actually prefer it to the traditional model.

6:36 AM  
Blogger amina said...

In terms of professional development for technology integration I think giving more time to teachers explore computer applications can go a long run than spending money and time on professional development.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Henrietta Siemens said...

Giving participants time to practice and use technology are key to making PD work.

6:46 AM  
Blogger Curby Alexander said...

Time does seem to be the missing element in professional development. Specifically with technology, it takes time to become familiar with different tools. I think many teachers like the idea of using technology as part of their teaching, but they don't really consider it as an option because they have neither the resources or the time to become familiar with the tools they have.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Janet Swenson said...

Can we talk some more about Helene's observation that the subtle shift from saying "teacher professional development" to saying "teacher learning" might be an important one? As she observes, modeling that we are committed to continually learning seems an important shift. What do others think?
Thanks, one and all, for these great observations!

8:52 AM  
Blogger Janet Swenson said...

Marsha, Here's just a cut & paste from my address. I found it in this month's edition of NCTE's Council Chronicle.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Science Teachers Association, the National Council for the Social Studies, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the International Reading Association, released a joint statement regarding their belief that generative professional development coaching is [slide 3] …

• Grounded in inquiry and reflection
• Participant driven and collaborative, involving knowledge sharing among teachers within communities of practice
• Sustained, ongoing, and intensive
• Connected to and derived from teachers’ ongoing work with their students

8:59 AM  

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