Little evidence of the effectiveness of PD
This Campbell systematic review looks at the effect of professional development (PD) approaches for education professionals on educational and social outcomes for children, and also any effects on professional practice.
The review summarizes evidence from 51 studies, including 48 randomized controlled trials, however, only 26 studies were included in the meta-analysis. The 51 studies were grouped into three PD areas: social and emotional development interventions, language and literacy development interventions, and stress reduction interventions.
The main findings of the review were:
  • No effect of PD on social and emotional development interventions on student academic outcomes. The weighted average effect size = +0.05.
  • No effect of PD language and literacy development interventions on student academic outcomes. The weighted average effect size = +0.04.
  • It was not possible to draw any conclusions concerning the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of PD on social and emotional development or language and literacy development interventions on teacher outcomes.
  • As there was only one study in the PD category of stress reduction interventions, it was not possible to draw any conclusions.
The researchers conclude that there is insufficient evidence for conclusions to be drawn, with the exception of language and literacy development interventions. For this type of PD, there seems to be no positive impact on student academic outcomes.

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