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Planning: Designing Effective PD

Start your professional development change process right - with good planning. As you begin to plan your professional development efforts, see the following sites for information about what effective professional development looks like and how you can begin to make changes in your own school.

Model award video Model Award Winner Diane Meltesen talks about how professional development priorities are determined and aligned at the district, school, and teacher level.

Model award video Model Award Winner Claudia Buckner talks about how staff members are involved in setting annual goals for each school in her district.

Model award video Model Award Winner Nancy O'Brian talks about how she helped schools in her district make professional development part of everyday life.

Preparing for Change: Articles and Reports to Help You Think and Plan
Learn more about what effective professional development looks like and how you can begin envisioning change in your own school. See these articles and reports.

    Professional Learning Communities: What Are They and Why Are They Important? (SEDL)

    Critical Issue: Realizing New Learning for All Students Through Professional Development (NCREL)

    Effective Learning Models and Frameworks to Design Professional Development (NCREL)

    Thomas Guskey's report - Results-Oriented Professional Development: In Search of an Optimal Mix of Effective Practices (NCREL)

    Managing Change: An Integrated Part of Staff Development
    This report, prepared for the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse, discusses the set of conditions needed for change to occur.

    SEDL's Promoting Instructional Coherence Project
    This project is designed to help schools and districts respond in a coherent way to conflicting external pressures.

    Excerpt from Judith Little's report: Excellence in Professional Development and Professional Community

    Transforming Professional Development for Student Success.
    A report from The National Foundation for the Improvement of Education, which provides several specific recommendations for improving the quality of professional development programs.

    National Center for Research on Teacher Learning
    The center offers several useful brochures, including "Learning To Walk the Reform Talk: A Framework for the Professional Development of Teachers." (Viewable with Adobe Acrobat.)

    Teaching for High Standards: What Policymakers Need to Know and Be Able to Do (CPRE)
    General discussion of the link between teacher knowledge and student achievement with specific recommendations about professional development. Search under Publications - Research Reports - Occasional Papers and Joint Reports. (Viewable with Adobe Acrobat.)

    The National Partnership for Excellence and Accountability in Teaching (NPEAT) describes the characteristics of effective professional development. These principles are based in recent research and focus on professional development strategies that improve student learning over time. Conditions that seem to nurture effective professional development are also discussed.

    "How To Rebuild a Local Professional Development Infrastructure" (Viewable with Adobe Acrobat) is a guide for districts to create a professional development infrastructure that supports comprehensive school reform. (New American Schools)

    "A Framework for Reviewing Professional Development Policies and Practices" contains a series of important questions.

Planning Tools
Use these planning tools to help you assess your current practices and to develop a professional development improvement plan.

    NCREL's Pathways to School Improvement
    A Trip Planner Inventory is available to help you analyze the professional development practices in your school or district and to point you to specific resources within Pathways.

    CREDE Professional Development Portfolio Manual
    The Portfolio is a system to guide teacher professional development and evaluation.

    Examine and Discuss Current Attitudes toward Professional Development (NCREL)
    This questionnaire helps clarify staff attitudes.

    Assessing a School Staff as a Community of Learners (SEDL)

    Questions for Self-study: Assessing Our School's Professional Learning Community (NWREL)

    Achieving Your Vision of Professional Development: How to Assess Your Needs and Get What You Want (SERVE)
    A "how-to" resource that reviews the stages of building an effective professional development system: developing a vision, creating a context for change, planning, investing resources, providing continual assistance, and assessing and monitoring progress. Available through SERVE's online bookstore.

    CPRE Policy Brief Excerpt: Improving Professional Development
    The authors of this brief suggests some principles to guide professional development and offers a framework for designing and assessing policies and programs.

    Professional Development: Learning From the Best
    A toolkit for schools and districts based on Model Professional Development Award Winners is located at this site.

    Effective Learning Models and Frameworks to Design Professional Development
    These frameworks help ensure that a plan relates to individual and organizational development and to systemic change.

Setting Professional Development Goals


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