Effective teacher professional development. For the past 20 years, school systems have heavily relied on professional development as the primary means for improving student performance, as evidenced by the massive allocation of funds for in-service training. Few educators or policymakers challenge the importance of teacher training that ensures teachers have the knowledge and skills required to be effective in the classroom. Despite the overwhelming support for teacher professional development, research has shown that most teacher training is ineffective in changing how teachers teach and students perform. This paper analyzed 35 studies that found a link between professional development and positive teacher and student outcomes.
The authors identified the following features significant if professional development is to produce meaningful results;
- They are content focused.
- They incorporate active learning strategies.
- They engage teachers in collaboration.
- They use models and/or modeling.
- They provide coaching and expert support.
- They include time for feedback and reflection.
- They are of sustained duration.
The authors conclude that professional development should incorporate the identified features and training needs to link to teachers’ experiences in preparation, induction, and teaching standards and evaluation.
Citation: Darling-Hammond, L., Hyler, M. E., & Gardner, M. (2017). Effective teacher professional development.