Professional Development for Teachers Found Lacking

‘It’s not entirely the teacher’s fault when their classroom data reflects lacking growth metrics.’ Bold statement – a yah, and a sure fire way to blaze up any discourse surrounding teacher fidelity in the classrooms. But what evidence is their to support either side of this argument…

A recent article from the online publication, *Education Weekly, cites results from a new survey of educators from the *RAND Corporation, who pulled data from the American Instructional Resources Survey (AIRS), conducted during the 2021-22 school year, were they surveyed a nationally representative sample of about 8,000 math, science, and English/language arts teachers across grades K-12. Some of the key findings resulting from their research conveyed the following:

  • Collaborative learning was the most frequent form of PL for teachers and often the form of PL that teachers thought was most beneficial.
  • Reviewing student assessment data and discussing how to use and adapt instructional materials were the primary uses of PL time…
  • Few teachers reported having extensive access to expertise on subject-area materials or content through their PL. …
  • …Access to expertise was a substantial predictor of whether teachers considered the PL they participated in to be beneficial to their teaching and student learning.
  • Teachers who reported frequent participation in PL generally reported higher levels of standards-aligned classroom practices than those who did not frequently participate…
  • After controlling for teacher and classroom characteristics, teachers’ participation in PL did not appear to strongly correlate with self-reported measures of student achievement.

My eyes went direct to the first and second key finding that stated collaborative learning (and peer mentoring ) sessions are more insightful and beneficial because having been there and definitely done that as a classroom teacher – who really wants to sit through a minimum of at least two hours worth of monotonous rhetoric explaining data and charts ?? In fact I’m getting triggered, irritated and bored right now just thinking about it!

To be fair, all good information does NOT need to be entertaining, with bells and whistles (although it will keep you awake). There are times, again owning my educator experience, teachers do not put into action the information they receive from professional development, no matter how engaging. They just take their goody bags and keep running like a hamster on the wheel of “Frustration and No Positive Results”, something a lot would call the definition of crazy, hmmm…

This is where the phrase, “Therein lies the rub..” comes into play. To gather more conclusive thoughts about this topic, please read the article below:

Where Teachers Say Professional Development Falls Short

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