Teacher-Centered Professional Development

Teacher-Centered Professional Development

Teacher-Centered Professional Development

Teacher-Centered Professional Development

Synopsis

Gabriel Diaz-Maggioli is a teacher educator at the National Teacher's Training College and at International House in Montevideo, Uruguay, as well as a national supervisor in the Uruguayan Department of Education's Secondary Schools Unit

Excerpt

[Let's face it: Professional development, as we have known it for years now, has yielded little or no positive effects on student learning.] Thus complain the many weary professionals who flinch at the mere mention of the word [workshop.] In the collective imagination, the term [professional development day] conjures only images of coffee breaks, consultants in elegant outfits, and schools barren of kids.

Of course, professional development was never intended to trigger such pessimistic reactions. Even critics of the professional development movement admit that all forms of teacher development, whether effective or not, have at their core the noble intention of improving student learning. We might disagree with the implementation processes available, but not with their purpose. Indeed, when correctly implemented, they actually yield the results intended. In this era of high-stakes testing and increased accountability, it is necessary to reposition professional development so that the collective efforts of teachers, students, and administrators result in enhanced learning for all members of the teaching community.

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