Recommendation Four:
Plan PD that is aligned with school and district goals and promotes evaluation and follow-up.


Role Group Strategies:

Work with the school improvement team to carefully plan professional development based on school and district goals.  Conduct an assessment of current knowledge and understandings about professional development.

Design Your Professional Development Program:  Where to Start
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
This tool provides a good starting point for planning high quality professional development.  It contains a comprehensive survey that helps schools and districts to identify areas of need and details many of the best practices in professional development.

Designing Powerful Professional Development
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
This guide presents a framework for designing effective professional development and describes how to plan, monitor, and evaluate the professional development efforts implemented under that framework. The authors also summarize key research findings on the importance of effective professional development.

Planning and conducting professional development that makes a difference:  A guide for school leaders. 
Southern Regional Education Board.  (2002)
This guide outlines a step-by-step approach to conceiving, creating, developing, implementing and evaluating school-level professional development opportunities.
Professional Development:  Learning From the Best
Hassel, E.  (n.d.). The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.
This toolkit includes step-by-step directions and "action planner tools" for designing, implementing, evaluating, improving and sharing professional development. Detailed appendices describe the criteria for the US Department of Education's National Awards Program for Professional development, profiles of winning schools, and summaries of resources and research.

Reinventing Education Change Toolkit
IBM (2002).
This toolkit, provided free of charge to anyone working in K-12 education, is designed to help school and district leaders to guide the school reform process.  The toolkit can be used to diagnose an environment for change, collaborate with members of a school change team, read real-life vignettes from education colleagues, plan a change initiative, and connect with educators worldwide.

Self-Assessment of Your School’s Professional Development:  Rubric for a Powerful Conversation
Alabama Best Practices Center
This rubric, adapted from the National Staff Development Council’s standards for professional development, can help administrators to assess their efforts to provide teachers high quality professional development.  Designed to determine if professional development is data driven, research based, focused on quality teaching and carried out in learning communities, this tool also helps administrators to work through a strengths/needs assessment and to create an action plan for their schools.

Sustaining School Improvement:  Professional Development
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.  (2003).
This document outlines the key elements of effective professional development programs, offers strategies that school leadership teams can use when establishing professional development programs, provides a rubric for evaluating professional development within a school and shares a ‘success story’ from Witters/Lucerne Elementary School in Thermopolis, Wyoming.

Test Your Professional Development IQ
The National Staff Development Council. (2003, August/September)
This quiz, created by the National Staff Development Council, allows school leaders and community members to evaluate their understanding of quality professional development and to reflect on the nature of effective learning experiences for teachers.  Along with the correct answers to each quiz question, the website includes references for further reading and suggestions for various situations in which the quiz can spur productive discussion.

Examining the Teaching Life
Wiggins, Grant and Jay McTigue. (Mar. 2006). Educational Leadership
Grant and McTigue suggest that “learning about learning” should be mandatory and that schools should develop a Learning Bill of Rights that provides criteria for ensuring effective peer review and self assessment. Although they recommend that school staffs develop their own principles, the authors provide nine sample principles to spur discussion. They also discuss how to promote these principles in schools in a way that does not offend individual teachers.

Designing Powerful Professional Development for Teachers and Principals
Sparks, D.  (2002). National Staff Development Council.
This book, provided free of charge on NSDC’s website, outlines the critical components of effective professional learning programs and the steps that schools and districts should take to ensure that the professional growth of their teachers and principals is maximized.  Topics covered include:  Setting the stage for powerful professional learning, providing a context for professional learning, developing school leaders, and developing teachers.

Develop a school-based plan for evaluation of the impact that professional development has had on teaching practices and student achievement.

Does Professional Development Change Teaching Practice?  Results from a Three-Year Study
Porter, A.C., Garet, M.S., Desimone, L., Yoon, K.S., and Birman, B.F.  (2000, October). U.S. Department of Education.
This report from the U.S. Department of Education studies whether or not teaching practices changed as a result of professional development for over 300 participating teachers.  Specifically focused on the kinds of professional development that have the greatest impact on teaching practice in mathematics and science, this report also includes a detailed implications section valuable for helping schools and communities consider the types of opportunities being provided to their teachers.

Eight Smooth Steps:  Solid Footwork Makes Evaluation of Staff Development Programs a Song
Killion, J.  (2003, Fall). Journal of Staff Development, 24(4).
Many schools work to provide high-quality professional development opportunities, but fail to evaluate the benefits or achievements of those programs, limiting their overall impact on future professional development planning.  This article outlines an eight step process for evaluating a staff development opportunity.  A link to an accompanying pdf contains questions and worksheets that can be used to assist in evaluation and follow up.

Keeping Professional Learning on Track With Evaluation
The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.  (2004, Spring).

This newsletter describes five areas on which evaluation of professional development programs should focus: teacher reaction, teacher learning, organizational support, classroom implementation, and student learning outcomes. Under each topic, the authors provide sample surveys and provide instructions on how to use the information gathered.  

Sustaining School Improvement:  Professional Development
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.  (2003).
This document outlines the key elements of effective professional development programs, offers strategies that school leadership teams can use when establishing professional development programs, provides a rubric for evaluating professional development within a school and shares a ‘success story’ from Witters/Lucerne Elementary School in Thermopolis, Wyoming.

The Delivery, Financing, and Assessment of Professional Development in Education:  Pre-service Preparation and In-Service Training
The Finance Project.  (2003, November 2).
This report explains the current context of professional development with regard to the No Child Left Behind Act and summarizes a wide range of information on the requirements, delivery, financing and assessment of professional development for teachers, principals, and superintendents.

Facilitator: 10, Refreshments:  8, Evaluation:  0:  Workshop Satisfaction Misses the Point 
Mizell, H.  (2003, Fall). Journal of Staff Development, 24(4).
Evaluating the impact that staff development has had on the teaching practices within a building is critical to determining a course of action for educators.  Traditionally, however, the evaluation of staff development opportunities is limited in scope, focusing on topics unrelated to student achievement or teaching.  This article details these failed attempts at evaluating professional development, examines the reasons that school-based staff developers continue to use ineffective approaches to evaluation, and outlines a more effective method of evaluating the impact of professional development.  

Encourage action research by teachers to evaluate the impact of professional development on student achievement.

Action Research Tools and Resources
The Teacher Leaders Network
The members of the Teacher Leaders Network, a major initiative of the Southeast Center for Teaching Quality, recently examined the process and potential of action research as a school improvement tool.  This web page features an extensive list of action research resources.  Included are articles related to action research, sample action research projects, and reviews of books that are designed to introduce educators to the process of action research.

Themes in Education:  Action Research
Ferrance, E.  (2000). Themes in Research. Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory.
This booklet introduces the concept of action research, a process of careful reflection on practice that encourages collaboration and allows teachers to address issues that are pertinent to their settings.  It provides an overview of the history of action research, an explanation of a process for completing it, stories from two teachers who have completed action research, and links to additional action research resources.

What is Action Research?
Sagor, R.  (2000). 
Guiding School Improvement with Action Research.
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
This chapter from the book Guiding School Improvement with Action Research by Richard Sagor introduces the concept of and processes involved in action research.  He discusses the impact action research has on building reflective practitioners, achieving school-wide priorities, and building professional cultures and outlines a seven-step process common to any action research project.



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