Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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The Missing Link



From: Theodore J. Gardella (tgardell@remc12.k12.mi.us)
Date: Thu Dec 21 2000 - 11:26:45 EST

  • Next message: Adam Kernan-Schloss: "[Teacher-Talkmissinglink] nrc study on math teaching"

    Adam - thank you so much for this email - it comes at a great time!
    Ted Gardella
    K-12 Mathematics and Science Coordinator
    Battle Creek Public Schools
    3 W. VanBuren Street
    Battle Creek, Michigan 49017

    Adam Kernan-Schloss wrote:

    > I thought Missing Link viewers might be interested in the following
    > new professional development report and tool kit from the US
    > department of education. Adam Kernan-Schloss, Project Director
    > ===========================================================
    > Professional Development Falls Short of Improving Teaching;
    > Riley Offers Toolkit to Improve Efforts (December 18, 2000)
    > http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/12-2000/121800.html
    > ===========================================================
    > High-quality professional development that is long-term, aligned
    > with district & school goals, focused on knowledge in a specific
    > subject, & actively engages groups of teachers in learning new
    > skills & knowledge can have a significant impact on the quality
    > of teaching, a new report from the U.S. Department of Education
    > shows.
    > According to the report, "Does Professional Development Change
    > Teaching Practice?," most schools & districts do not know how to
    > implement high-quality professional development activities & lack
    > sufficient resources to start & sustain effective, long-term
    > programs.
    > U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley said that in
    > response to the need to better design & run professional
    > development activities, every school district will receive a
    > toolkit, developed by the Department, along with federally funded
    > North Central Regional Educational Laboratory & Mid-Continental
    > Regional Education Laboratory.
    > "Using lessons learned from the Department's outstanding Model
    > Professional Development Program award winners, this user-friendly
    > toolkit walks administrators through the processes of
    > designing, implementing, evaluating & improving professional
    > development," Riley said. "These schools & districts know what
    > works & the toolkit will help others implement effective
    > professional development practices.
    > Among the report's primary findings:
    > * Professional development that is focused on specific,
    > higher-order teaching strategies -- for instance, teaching
    > students analytical & problem-solving skills by using
    > technology to analyze statistics -- increases teachers' use
    > of those strategies in the classroom.
    > * The average teacher does not experience a long-term, high-
    > quality professional development program -- the type of
    > program that has the potential for fostering significant &
    > lasting change in teacher quality.
    > * In the 3 years of the study, there was little change in
    > overall teaching practice. This is not surprising, the
    > authors concluded, given the generally usual low-quality &
    > inconsistent nature of professional development.
    > The study concluded:
    > * Time constraints are a major obstacle to quality programs.
    > Most teachers already lack sufficient planning & preparation
    > time for their classes & it is hard for teachers to find
    > additional time to take part in sustained professional
    > development. Schools & districts often must choose between
    > higher-quality programs for fewer teachers & less focused &
    > sporadic development for more teachers. At least some
    > teachers participate in high-quality development some of the
    > time, the study found, & quality of professional development
    > varies within schools.
    > * Reallocation of resources can help increase sources of
    > funding, but without more resources, schools & districts
    > ultimately must choose between quality & quantity.
    > * Schools often lack the infrastructure & knowledge of what
    > works to implement effective professional development. To
    > translate needed reforms into practice, schools & districts
    > need information & guidance on the characteristics &
    > conditions that can help them provide high-quality
    > professional development.
    > The report was commissioned by Department's Planning & Evaluation
    > Service & prepared under contract by the American Institutes for
    > Research. The focus was on activities funded by the Eisenhower
    > Professional Development Program & other sources from 1996-99.
    > The Eisenhower Program is the federal government's largest
    > investment in developing the knowledge & skills of classroom
    > teachers. The program provides funds through state education
    > agencies to school districts, & through state agencies for higher
    > education to institutions of higher education & nonprofit
    > organizations. These funds primarily support professional
    > development in mathematics & science.
    > The full report & the toolkit are at:
    > http://www.ed.gov/offices/OUS/PES/school_improvement.html#subepdp1
    > http://www.ncrel.org/pd/toolkit.htm
    > --
    > Adam Kernan-Schloss
    > KSA-Plus Communications
    > 2200 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 1102
    > Arlington, VA 22201
    > adam@ksaplus.com
    > www.ksaplus.com

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