Professional Development Discussed by some Ed Rock Stars

GETIdeas

An opportunity to attend a conversation by some of the biggest Rock Stars in Educational PD was something I couldn’t miss. It was truly informative and insightful from all angles of the educational landscape.

During the conversation, Don Buckley, Director of Innovation and Technology at the School of Columbia University, discussed an article from Edutopia, he quotes:

“When teachers receive well-designed professional development, an average of 49 hours spread over six to 12 months, they can increase student achievement by as much as 21 percentile points. On the other hand, one-shot, “drive-by,” or fragmented, “spray-and-pray” workshops lasting 14 hours or less show no statistically significant effect on student learning. Above all, it is most important to remember that effective professional-development programs are job-embedded and provide teachers with five critical elements:” (see those at the end of this post or in the original article).

The panel of thought leaders in the discussion:

Don Buckley, Director of Innovation and Technology at the School at Columbia University, Alice Barr is the Instructional Technology Integrator for Yarmouth High School, Michelle Bourgeois is the Instructional Technology Coordinator at St. Vrain Valley School District, Noble Kelly has been a High School Educator and now founder of Education Beyond Borders, Julie Lindsay is an international educator and co-founder of Flat Classroom, and Sylvia Martinez is President of Generation YES.

Here is the recording from @GETIdeas.org

The five critical elements from Edutopia

  • Collaborative learning: Teachers have opportunities to learn in a supportive community that organizes curriculum across grade levels and subjects.
  • Links between curriculum, assessment, and professional-learning decisions in the context of teaching specific content: Particularly for math and science professional-development programs, research has emphasized the importance of developing math and science content knowledge, as well as pedagogical techniques for the content area (Blank, de las Alas, and Smith, 2008Blank and de las Alas, 2009Heller, Daehler, Wong, Shinohara, and Miratrix, 2012).
  • Active learning: Teachers apply new knowledge and receive feedback, with ongoing data to reflect how teaching practices influence student learning over time.
  • Deeper knowledge of content and how to teach it: Training teachers solely in new techniques and behaviors will not work.
  • Sustained learning, over multiple days and weeks: Professional-development efforts that engage teachers in 30 to 100 hours of learning over six months to one year have been shown to increase student achievement.

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