Teacher Professional Learning in the United States

Posted by on January 30, 2011

A framework for effective PD

Learning Forward has released the third phase of its Status of Professional Learning study, which aims to identify effective professional development policies and strategies by examining the policy frameworks supporting high levels of professional development activity in four states. Students in Colorado, Missouri, New Jersey, and Vermont scored above national averages on the NAEP, and teachers in all four states had high participation rates in a wide range of professional development, from teacher induction to curriculum support and study groups focused on specific subject areas. While approaches to professional development vary, all states have professional development standards, induction and mentoring programs for beginning teachers, and a state-level organization or professional board that oversees teacher licensing, professional teaching standards, and professional development. Most also require professional development plans for teachers, and minimum levels of professional development for license renewal. All provide a range of supports and incentives for professional learning. The authors found that state policies and systems that ensure accountability and monitor professional development are critical factors, but it is equally critical to couple state efforts with professional associations and intermediary organizations that help extend the reach of state agencies, offer learning supports of many kinds, and provide a voice for local stakeholders and outside experts.

See the report: http://www.learningforward.org/stateproflearning.cfm

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