Traditional PD: 'totally useless'?

In a guest post on the Answer Sheet blog in The Washington Post, Alvin Crawford of Knowledge Delivery Systems, which offers online professional development, writes that few can argue teachers today are getting the support and training they need to be effective and efficient, whether they stay in the classroom or not. In a 2009 report from the Center for Public Education, for instance, asked about experiences with professional development, "most teachers... reported it was totally useless." Yet federal, state and district spending on professional development is an estimated $6 billion a year. Teacher development studies going back 30 years have shown repeatedly that merely exposing a teacher to a new concept or skill has little classroom impact; most professional development is still lecture-style: telling, showing, and explaining, then sending the teacher back to class alone. Crawford feels transformative professional development requires 50 hours or more, plus informal and ongoing interaction and peer engagement to refine skills and model successes. Meeting these time demands would take a district with 5,000 teachers nearly 300 qualified trainers and five years to complete. Crawford therefore advocates technology and social-engagement tools for initial teacher training "on virtually any subject to be done in 12 weeks and continue indefinitely." More

Source:  Public Education News Blast

Published by LEAP

Los Angeles Education Partnership (LAEP) is an education support organization that works as a collaborative partner in high-poverty communities.

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