Two key strategies are central to the Annenberg Institute's work on professional development systems: professional learning communities (small groups of teachers, administrators, community members, and others who work together to improve professional practice); and instructional coaching (school-based, educator-led professional learning for groups of teachers in specific content areas). This package includes two publications describing these strategies and what we have learned about using them effectively.
Annenburg Institute for School Reform. (2004). Instructional Coaching: Professional development strategies that improve instruction.Retrieved from: http://www.annenberginstitute.org/publications/professional-development-strategies-professional-learning-communitiesinstructional-coac
This piece describes the widely held perception among education leaders that we already know how to help teachers improve, and that we could achieve our goal of great teaching in far more classrooms if we just applied what we know more widely. Our research suggests that despite enormous and admirable investments of time and money, we are much further from that goal than has been acknowledged, and the evidence base for what actually helps teachers improve is very thin.
Jacob, A., & McGovern, K. (2015). The mirage: Confronting the hard truth about our quest for teacher development. Brooklyn, NY: TNTP. https://tntp.org/assets/documents/TNTP-Mirage_2015.pdf.
Describes a Sonoma County (California) school district's peer coaching program designed to meet the needs of new, probationary, and experienced teachers. The program succeeded because participation was voluntary, the training empowered teachers and improved their coaching skills, and teachers continued to meet as a group and learn from each other. Includes six references.
Raney, P., & Robbins, P. (1989). Professional growth and support through peer coaching. Educational Leadership, 35(6), 35-38.