Assessment of Professional Development by Teachers and Administrators: An Examination of the Literature in the Context of One Case Study/évaluation Du Développement Professionnel Par Les Enseignants et Les Administrateurs: Une Analyse De la Littérature Dans le Contexte D'une ÉTude De Cas

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT. The focus of this article is teacher professional development. The article examines literature related to teacher professional development and methods of measuring its impact. In order to ground the discussion, the article focuses on a case study that captures the perspectives of Ontario secondary school teachers and their administrators as they implement a literacy program targeted at improving student achievement.

ÉVALUATION DU DÉVELOPPEMENT PROFESSIONNEL PAR LES ENSEIGNANTS ET LES ADMINISTRATEURS: UNE ANALYSE DE LA LITTÉRATURE DANS LE CONTEXTE D'UNE ÉTUDE DE CAS

RÉSUMÉ. Les stratégies relatives à la réussite des élèves sont souvent assujetties à la compréhension des liens entre le perfectionnement professionnel des enseignants et le développement de la littératie des élèves. En plus d'examiner la littérature portant sur le perfectionnement professionnel et les mesures relatives à son impact, cet article présente une étude de cas qui relate les représentations des enseignants des écoles secondaires de l'Ontario et des administrateurs scolaires durant le processus de mise en oeuvre d'un programme de littératie visant l'amélioration du rendement des élèves.

INTRODUCTION

Increasingly, government education policies and curriculum reforms expect educators to find new ways to enhance schooling and education in order to help all students succeed. Understanding the strategies used by teachers and administrators for professional development and identifying the ways to assess the effectiveness of professional development programs in schools are integral to improved teacher instructional practices in the classroom and, in turn improved student achievement.

The concepts of teacher professional development and teacher practices have changed substantially over the past ten years. Previously, professional development was viewed as a voluntary activity for teachers and teachers' practices were not subject to analysis or linked to student achievement. Since the 1990s, in Ontario, Canada, and many Anglo Saxon countries, governments have used their authority to prescribe teacher professional development in an attempt to change teachers' instructional and assessment practices. Ingvarson, Meiers, and Bevis (2005) suggest that the term "professional development" now refers to programs that employ a range of delivery methods that are research-based, and that the term "practice" refers to the following: a) making clear links between teachers' teaching goals and classroom activities; b) managing classroom structures and activities more effectively; c) using more effective teaching and learning strategies appropriate to the content taught; d) using more effective teaching and learning strategies appropriate to the classroom context; e) using teaching and learning strategies that are more challenging and engaging and better able to meet the individual learning needs of students; f) linking assessment to the teaching and learning cycle more effectively; g) providing more effective feedback to students to support their learning; h) engaging students in higher order thinking; and i) assessing and using materials and resources more effectively (p. 10). Consequently, reforms to teacher professional development and practices require new ways of thinking, and the role of the professional educator and school administrator is critical to the implementation and assessment of the reform process. By its focus on teacher professional development, this paper engages the discussion on literacy development and the ways to ensure academic success for all youth.

LITEARCY DEVELOPMENT

Studies of literacy have offered insight into how teachers and schools might help all learners to succeed and thereby be able to understand social, political, and economic issues, participate more fully in society, and have better access to the job market. Research on literacy education must therefore consider strategies of effective teaching that enable young learners to succeed. …