Even as schools across the US rethink how they deliver learning experiences to their students, districts, too, are rethinking professional development for teachers. We look for all learners--teachers as well as students--to construct their own learning path, explore how to deepen their skills and support their colleagues. Districts play an important role in this process, by encouraging teachers to build specific, new skills and leveraging the skills teachers already have.
So this year, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, EdSurge embarked on a research program to explore the tools and products available to districts and how they systematically support teacher development, creating the 64-page report “How Districts Get Personal: Retooling Professional Development.” In the PD report--our second annual--we offer a framework to help districts identify how to get the most from the tools they are already using, and to find others to fill in the gaps.
Here are a few of the insights from our report:
Using the insights from our study, we designed this framework to help school and district administrators find the right systems when it comes to managing and delivering professional learning experiences. The work, including in depth reports on 15 different products, is available in “How Districts Get Personal: Retooling Professional Development.”
Through our research, we developed a nuanced understanding of what works, what doesn’t, and what tools can assist effective professional learning. We hope these offerings will help district and school leaders find where in the PD cycle their teachers need support, and see how different tools can play a role in the development process. Ultimately, the power of professional learning experiences is up to educators and those who support them; through this report, we hope to provide background to inform the process.