Recommendation Two:
Provide extensive resources, including time for PD design, implementation and evaluation, and conduct an assessment of current spending.

Role Group Strategies:

Develop models of professional development that require little financial investment such as action research, lesson study and critical friends groups.

Improving Instruction Through Collaboration
Jolly, A.  (2001, February).  Middle Ground.
Many times teachers are painfully aware of the shortcomings of their own instruction.  Frustrated by the isolation that plagues teaching and a lack of sufficient time, however, they often feel powerless to change the situation.  This article from the National Middle School Organization was written by Anne Jolly, an accomplished teacher from Alabama.  She expresses her feelings about her own professional development experiences and describes her efforts to bring change to her school by advocating for and coordinating whole faculty study groups.

In ‘Lesson Study’ Sessions, Teachers Polish Their Craft
Viadero, D.  (2004, February). Education Week on the Web.
One popular new approach to professional development in education is the creation of Lesson Study groups in schools.  A common practice in Japan, lesson study involves a group of teachers designing, implementing, evaluating and revising individual lessons with the intent of developing teaching practices that are effective.  This article examines the process of lesson study and the efforts of teachers using lesson study in Patterson, New Jersey.

Redesigning Professional Development:  Critical Friends
Bambino, D.  (2002, March). Educational Leadership, 59(6), 25-27.
Because of their shared experiences, teachers can often provide the most effective instructional support to their colleagues.  One model for this type of collaboration is the Critical Friends Group.  This article introduces the concept and benefits of Critical Friends groups and tells the stories of three schools that have implemented Critical Friends groups with great success.

Their Key to Survival:  Each Other
Gingold, H.  (2004, June). Classroom Leadership, 7(9).
This article from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development describes the work of four teachers in Liverpool, N.Y. who created a “collaborative teacher network” designed to support one another throughout the school year.  The four teachers worked as a team, planning lessons and instruction, evaluating the results of their teaching, and refining their professional practice.  They set aside time each week to meet with one another, and kept in regular contact via email and phone calls.  As a result, their teaching improved and they each developed skills required of reflective practitioners.

Looking at Student Work
The Annenberg Institute for School Reform.
This website is dedicated to developing teachers' capacity for analyzing and interpreting student work.  Outlining a process for looking at student work and using data collected to shape instruction and professional development, this site includes detailed directions about the process of structured reflection and examples of schools and districts that have implemented these strategies.

Teacher Collaboration Supports Instructional Change
The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.  (2003, Summer/Fall)
This guide from NCREL outlines strategies for adopting a collaborative approach to professional development.  Several different models of collaboration are introduced, real-life examples are shared, and practical observation tools are included.

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.

The Buddy System
Wagner, Tony. (2005). Teacher Magazine
Tony Wagner, a principal and former high school English teacher, contrasts the team work characteristic of other professions with the isolation of teaching. He suggests “lesson study” groups as the most effective form of collaboration and observation and recommends implementing a system for peer feedback school-wide rather than making participation voluntary.

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.

Pursue online professional development opportunities.

Anytime, Anywhere
Tardif, S.S.  (2004, July/August). Access Learning.
This link provides descriptions of five of the best online professional development opportunities so that teachers and administrators are not overwhelmed by the amount and variety of information online.   It also provides an online professional development "shopping list" to help readers evaluate different programs on their own.”

Concept to Classroom Workshops
Disney Learning Partnership.
This site created by Thirteen Ed Online and the Disney Learning Partnership provides access to free online learning workshops designed to help teachers apply important concepts in their classrooms.  Topics range from multiple intelligences and teaching to standards to cooperative learning and webquests. Opportunities to apply these workshops towards professional development credit are also available.

Critical Issues: Providing More Time for Professional Development
North Central Regional Education Laboratory (NCREL) (2004)
The authors discuss different means to create time for professional development ranging from “traditional strategies,” such as banking time or creating an extended day, to embedding it within the school day or taking advantage of online opportunities. They list “action options” for school board members, administrators, and teachers, in addition to profiling several schools that have taken creative approaches to integrating professional development. They also include a chart listing different strategies, their requirements, effects on parents, and costs.

E-Learning for Educators: Implementing the Standards for Staff Development
National Staff Development Council (2001).
This guide discusses the potential of e-learning to enhance professional development and the drawbacks of relying too heavily on this form of learning. The authors provide guiding questions and a decision matrix to ensure that online professional development opportunities meet the quality standards outlined by the National Staff Development Council and result in real teacher and student learning.

Keys to quality:  Five questions to ask before you choose an online professional development provider
Nussbaum-Beach, S., and Norton, J.  (2004).  Access Learning.
This article is intended to guide teachers through the selection of online professional development opportunities.  In addition to listing five key questions about professional development resources, the author recommends elated resources ranging from established standards for online professional development opportunities to rubrics for evaluating online professional development opportunities.

Online professional development collection
Cable in the Classroom.
Cable in the Classroom is an organization dedicated to improving teaching and learning in America by increasing the use of instructional technology.  This link highlights high-quality online professional development programs.  The page includes course descriptions, links, and samples of selected coursework from some of the best electronic learning opportunities.

Successful Online Professional Development
Treacy, B., Kleiman, G., and Peterson, K.  (2002, September).  Learning and Leading with Technology, 30(1), 42-47.
Online professional development opportunities offer many advantages including schedule flexibility for participants as well as content flexibility allowing for direct connections to classroom practice.  This article outlines a model for establishing online professional development programs and describes elements of successful ones.  It also provides descriptions of counties that are currently using online professional development opportunities with their faculties.

Harvard from Home:  How the right mix of online and in-person professional development can lead to lasting improvements in classroom practice
Nussbaum-Beach, S., and Norton, J.  (2004). Access Learning.
This article from Access Learning magazine examines the advantages and disadvantages of online professional development.  It explains the importance of balancing online professional development with face-to-face interaction and includes a list of related resources, which offer online learning opportunities for teachers.

Access existing and develop new relationships with community organizations that can provide resources for professional development.

Business Partnership Resource Page.
The George Lucas Educational Foundation.
This webpage features articles on how businesses can become involved in schools and the benefits of these partnerships. Articles and video clips profile successful programs in which companies provide grants, speakers, field trips, mentoring or job shadowing opportunities for students.

Connecting with Experts in the Real World
Demee-Benoit, D.  (1999, September 1). Edutopia Online. The George Lucas Educational Foundation
This article outlines several outreach programs from science centers, zoos, aquaria, botanical gardens and natural history museums that are providing professional development to teachers.  Such partnerships can help schools to provide the kinds of instruction necessary to improve student achievement and to promote deep levels of content knowledge among their teachers.


"Finding Common Ground:  Working with the Community to Provide High-Quality Professional Development"
Teachers take charge of their learning: Transforming professional development for student success

Renyi, J.  (1996). 
The NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education
A portion of this guide to professional development is dedicated to engaging the community in efforts to improve teacher development and student learning. The author describes successful partnerships in specific schools and districts that involve parents or businesses and other professionals in student and teacher learning. It also includes a series of recommendations for creating a "network of learners" consisting of students, parents, teachers, and the community.

Partnership pays off for business and schools
Curtis, D. (2000, September 1). Edutopia Online. The George Lucas Foundation.
The Bayer Corporation has established one of the most successful business-education partnerships in their “Making Science Make Sense” program.  This article from the George Lucas Educational Foundation outlines the program which provides professional development opportunities for teachers and content-based presentations to students in schools across America.

Community Partnership Resource Page
The George Lucas Educational Foundation.
This webpage provides a variety of resources from the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) on school and community partnerships.  It includes articles describing programs in specific school districts and research on the importance of community involvement in general.

Critical Issue:  Establishing Collaboratives and Partnerships
Peterson, K.  (1995). North Central Regional Educational Laboratory
This Critical Issue Report outlines ways in which school administrators can make connections to community groups, enlisting their partnership in addressing many of the non-academic issues that interfere with student achievement. It recommends "action options," describes implementation pitfalls, profiles a number of schools successfully engaging the community, and provides an extensive list of resources and contacts.

Critical Issues: Providing More Time for Professional Development
North Central Regional Education Laboratory (NCREL) (2004)
The authors discuss different means to create time for professional development ranging from “traditional strategies,” such as banking time or creating an extended day, to embedding it within the school day or taking advantage of online opportunities. One suggestion is that teachers take advantage of summer internship or corporate training opportunities to enhance their knowledge.

Developing Effective Partnerships to Support Local Education
School Communities that Work: A National Taskforce on the
Future of Urban Districts (2002).
This paper describes design and operating principles used in effective education and community partnerships. The authors emphasize that partnerships should focus on equity in addition to results and aim to affect youth engagement and development.

Supporting good schools is good business
Goldberg, M.  (2003, September 23). Edutopia Online. The George Lucas Educational Foundation
This article outlines the importance of business support for schools. It describes the kinds of supports that businesses can provide, from monetary contributions to lobbying policymakers, and explains the role that businesses can play in the professional growth and learning of teachers.



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