Fostering Effective Professional Development for Teachers
Download Workshop 6 PDF
Principle: Principal as Catalyst
Focus question: What kind of professional development for math and science teachers
will really make a difference?
a variety of professional development strategies that are based on
the idea of collaboration and reflection. Teachers work together to
help each other improve their practice in teaching math and science.
We suggest that
you read the following articles, included in the Appendix at the back
of this Guide, prior to viewing Workshop 6:
"Peer-to-Peer professional development"
Chair, Barbara Alcala at Whittier High School in Whittier, CA, describes
how she encouraged two math teachers to lead a staff meeting about
how to use white boardsdry-erase tablets that are large enough for
a cooperative group of four or five students to use together, but
small enough to be easily managed in the classroom. Teachers brainstorm
their ideas for how they could use white boards to enhance group work
in math. They provide each other with constructive criticism for applying
these ideas to the classroom and leave not only with a set of white
boards and markers to take back to their students, but a list of ideas
from their peers.
author and education researcher Nancy Love about several principles
she believes are important for professional development for math and
BambinoCFG's for Teachers
"Critical Friends Groups and changing practice"
science teacher Deborah Bambino teaches at Central East Middle School
in Philadelphia, an urban school under the current leadership of principal
Wendy Shapiro. Deborah presents a lesson about mixing cold and warm
air masses that is part of a new curriculum she is piloting. Immediately
after school she presents the activity to her Critical Friends Group,
a cross-disciplinary group of educators who meet regularly to examine
each others' practice and provide feedback. After hearing their comments,
Deborah returns to the classroom the next day and makes changes in
the lesson for a new group of students.
HernandezWhittier High School
"Peer observations and mentoring in changing practice"
High School in Whittier, CA, Principal Al Castillo and lead teachers
Kirsten Leoniak and Dina Leslie helped start a peer mentoring program.
Together, Al and three teachers from different disciplines observe
a math class taught by Adam Hernandez. Later, Adam receives feedback
from his peers, followed by a one-on-one meeting with the principal.
Site Discussion Questions
(remember to choose a Structure from those listed
on pages 12 to 14)
- How can
the principal provide the time and resources for adequate professional
development for teachers?
- Who should
lead math and science professional development? Why?
- Do peer
coaching models really work? Why? Why not?
- How can
I assess the need for professional development in my school?
- What is
the most effective professional development strategy you've used?
- When do
you lead professional development and when do others?
- How do you
use staff meeting time and other existing structures?
- What are
ways to give teachers the big picture so that they can make informed
decisions about professional development?
- Is it sufficient
to work only with math and science teachers or should/can all
teachers be involved?
- How can
the principal promote the value of changing math and science education
in the school?
- If teachers
learn well collaboratively in groups, should those groups be across
disciplines or should math and science teachers be separate?
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2061 Professional Development Program. Internet Address: http://project2061.aaas.org/Pdp/challeng.html
for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Internet Address: http://www.ascd.org/
Internet Address: http://www.edweek.org/tsb/index.html?intc=thed
Clearinghouse Professional Development site. Internet Address: http://my.goenc.com/search/?page=1&pagelength=10&resultType=search&searchText=%22reform+ideas%22
Quality Program. Internet Address: http://project2061.aaas.org/newsinfo/earlychild/fostering/copleyp.htm
NCTM Professional Development. Internet Address:
(Science, Math and Related Technology.) Internet Address: http://teachingsmart.org/description.html
Guided Instruction Project. Directed by Elizabeth Fennema and Thomas
P. Carpenter, U of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, WI.
Integrated Science Teacher Enhancement Project (CC-ISTEP). Paul Kuerbis,
Project Director, Colorado Springs, CO 719- 389-6147.
Science (GSS). Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, CA: 510-642-9635.
Development Council (NSDC), for information on professional development
in peer coaching and mentoring. Oxford. OH: 513-523-6029.