Make high-quality professional learning a priority

Dennis Sparks

“Big Idea”: The quality of professional learning and teamwork in schools determines whether all students experience quality teaching and are surrounded by supportive relationships.

The quality of professional learning and teamwork remains at an unacceptably low level for far too many educators.

Not as much has changed as one would hope 20 years after the National Staff Development Counsel (now Learning Forward) first introduced its Standards for Staff Developmentwhich have since gone through several revisions.

There are bright spots, of course. A handful of schools and school systems consistently produce high levels of professional learning, for which they are to be commended.

Fortunately, interest remains high in designing professional development that leads to continuous improvements in teaching and student learning.

The following posts are among the most widely read on this subject:

“The biggest problem in professional development is…”

“When professional learning is a barrier to continuous improvement”

“Finding the third way of professional development”

“Fundamental practices for cultivating professional literacy”

“The 6 fundamental ingredients of robust professional development”

“Why professional development without substantial follow up is malpractice”

You can read even more on this subject here.


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