Academic journal article Science Scope

Professional Development-A Thousand Kilometers Wide and a Micron Deep!

Academic journal article Science Scope

Professional Development-A Thousand Kilometers Wide and a Micron Deep!

Article excerpt

Research shows a strong correlation between teacher expertise and student achievement. A long-term, coherent program of high-quality professional development (PD) is the best way to foster improvement in classroom practices and increase student learning. Unfortunately, school districts face major challenges in implementing effective professional development and most fall short in delivering PD programs that make a significant difference in teaching practices and student learning. PD for middle level science teachers consists of one-size-fits-all workshops, a few district science department meetings, and an occasional series of lectures crammed into one day. Evaluation of most professional development opportunities is inadequate and PD follow-up and support is usually not available.

Administrators and district office personnel must make high-quality PD a top priority in all schools and provide adequate funding for its implementation. Students, parents, and the community must be educated about the vital role of professional development in improving teaching and student learning. Districts must provide long-term PD opportunities that have both depth and breadth of content and allow ample time for teachers to learn how to incorporate the new practices and content into their instruction. …

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