From: Theodore J. Gardella (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Dec 21 2000 - 11:26:45 EST
Next message: Adam Kernan-Schloss: "[Teacher-Talkmissinglink] nrc study on math teaching"
Adam - thank you so much for this email - it comes at a great time!
K-12 Mathematics and Science Coordinator
Battle Creek Public Schools
3 W. VanBuren Street
Battle Creek, Michigan 49017
Adam Kernan-Schloss wrote:
> I thought Missing Link viewers might be interested in the following
> new professional development report and tool kit from the US
> department of education. Adam Kernan-Schloss, Project Director
> Professional Development Falls Short of Improving Teaching;
> Riley Offers Toolkit to Improve Efforts (December 18, 2000)
> High-quality professional development that is long-term, aligned
> with district & school goals, focused on knowledge in a specific
> subject, & actively engages groups of teachers in learning new
> skills & knowledge can have a significant impact on the quality
> of teaching, a new report from the U.S. Department of Education
> According to the report, "Does Professional Development Change
> Teaching Practice?," most schools & districts do not know how to
> implement high-quality professional development activities & lack
> sufficient resources to start & sustain effective, long-term
> U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley said that in
> response to the need to better design & run professional
> development activities, every school district will receive a
> toolkit, developed by the Department, along with federally funded
> North Central Regional Educational Laboratory & Mid-Continental
> Regional Education Laboratory.
> "Using lessons learned from the Department's outstanding Model
> Professional Development Program award winners, this user-friendly
> toolkit walks administrators through the processes of
> designing, implementing, evaluating & improving professional
> development," Riley said. "These schools & districts know what
> works & the toolkit will help others implement effective
> professional development practices.
> Among the report's primary findings:
> * Professional development that is focused on specific,
> higher-order teaching strategies -- for instance, teaching
> students analytical & problem-solving skills by using
> technology to analyze statistics -- increases teachers' use
> of those strategies in the classroom.
> * The average teacher does not experience a long-term, high-
> quality professional development program -- the type of
> program that has the potential for fostering significant &
> lasting change in teacher quality.
> * In the 3 years of the study, there was little change in
> overall teaching practice. This is not surprising, the
> authors concluded, given the generally usual low-quality &
> inconsistent nature of professional development.
> The study concluded:
> * Time constraints are a major obstacle to quality programs.
> Most teachers already lack sufficient planning & preparation
> time for their classes & it is hard for teachers to find
> additional time to take part in sustained professional
> development. Schools & districts often must choose between
> higher-quality programs for fewer teachers & less focused &
> sporadic development for more teachers. At least some
> teachers participate in high-quality development some of the
> time, the study found, & quality of professional development
> varies within schools.
> * Reallocation of resources can help increase sources of
> funding, but without more resources, schools & districts
> ultimately must choose between quality & quantity.
> * Schools often lack the infrastructure & knowledge of what
> works to implement effective professional development. To
> translate needed reforms into practice, schools & districts
> need information & guidance on the characteristics &
> conditions that can help them provide high-quality
> professional development.
> The report was commissioned by Department's Planning & Evaluation
> Service & prepared under contract by the American Institutes for
> Research. The focus was on activities funded by the Eisenhower
> Professional Development Program & other sources from 1996-99.
> The Eisenhower Program is the federal government's largest
> investment in developing the knowledge & skills of classroom
> teachers. The program provides funds through state education
> agencies to school districts, & through state agencies for higher
> education to institutions of higher education & nonprofit
> organizations. These funds primarily support professional
> development in mathematics & science.
> The full report & the toolkit are at:
> Adam Kernan-Schloss
> KSA-Plus Communications
> 2200 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 1102
> Arlington, VA 22201
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