Education

Seven keys to effective teacher development

(Editor’s note: This article is the third in a three-part series about how school systems can build on the progress and leverage the investments they’ve made in technology during the pandemic to achieve true digital transformation. Part 1 looks at how K-12 leaders can develop an effective blueprint for redesigning education in a way that’s more equitable, meaningful, and learner-centered, and Part 2 explores how leaders can obtain stakeholder buy-in and support for their vision.)

Building on the changes that school systems have made during the pandemic to achieve true digital transformation requires an adaptive approach to K-12 leadership, as well as a focus on successful change management. These are adjustments that have to take place at the administrative level. But real transformation won’t occur unless it reaches the classroom as well, with teachers embracing change and trying out new approaches to instruction.

For this to happen, teachers not only have to buy in to what their school systems are looking to accomplish; they also need effective professional learning.

From decades of research, we know what effective teacher development looks like. For instance, in 2017 the Learning Policy Institute published a review of nearly three dozen studies on teacher professional development that identified common success factors. Among other characteristics, effective PD incorporates active, hands-on learning; provides opportunities for teachers to collaborate; and is ongoing rather than just a series of unconnected workshops.

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