Special Report: Smart Strategies for Teacher Professional Development
Read the article at edweek.org. Read further for information on CaMSP professional development.
Professional development has the potential to not only improve teacher practice, but to make a real difference for students. But too often, professional development has been criticized as unfocused and irrelevant. But many school systems are overhauling their PD programs to tie them closely to teacher needs and to districtwide academic goals.
In this special report, Education Week explores some of those efforts, including the rise of microcredentials, math training for preschool teachers, and programs aimed at supporting instructional coaches.
CaMSP Professional Development
The Education Week article highlights several aspects of effective professional development that are also present in CaMSP projects.
What Public Works has consistently found is that this partnership-based design for professional development customized to participating school district and teacher needs provided a structure to support teachers. This allowed teachers opportunities to embed what they have learned about mathematics, science and STEM content during intensive professional development into the classroom. Through this process, CaMSP teachers reported experiencing new opportunities to try out student engagement strategies, observe and document student learning, and practice fresh approaches to familiar lesson topics. They also consistently reported appreciation for the benefits of being able to provide and receive feedback about teaching in a collegial setting.
In the summer and throughout the school year, participating teachers have been exposed to intensive professional learning and activities such as lesson study, coaching and professional learning communities by university and community college instructors, professional development providers, teacher leaders and community partners designed to tailor and adapt support for the local context. As you consider your next steps as professional development leaders, we hope that you are able to take what you have learned locally and reflect on how your practices support the larger context of efforts to overhaul PD for teachers that are described in this article.