The story of professional development is illustrative of problems common to educational interventions. The American education system values in-service training, spending range from $18,000 annually per teacher. Like many promising practices found effective in controlled conditions, in-service training fails in the field. Ample evidence points to new teachers being insufficiently prepared, and in-service training is used to fill the gap. Schools invest extensively in teacher induction in the early years of a teacher and supplement this with continuous development over a career. Unfortunately, training is delivered in the least productive ways, such as emphasizing theory and demonstrating skills in simulated exercises rather than on real students. These efforts produce poor results—not surprising since they ignore the research, which shows the value of giving teachers opportunities to practice in real-world settings, tying training to existing procedures, and following up with monitoring and feedback. Only a fraction of the money is directed toward coaching, the method that research shows produces long-lasting results.
Citation: Cleaver, S., Detrich, R., States, J. & Keyworth, R. (2020). Overview Teacher Professional Development. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. quality-teachers-in-service.