Sunday, July 3, 2016

Characteristics of Effective Professional Development

The following are this course's Characteristics of Effective PD:


I had a few of these down in my own reflection, but I did not think of a few.

On the job or job-embedded
The GLT Center has a long definition in this report, but in summary (p. 2):
  • grounded in day-to-day practice
  • deals with authentic and immediate problems
  • part of a continuous cycle
  • aligned to standards and school goals
Looking through these, even the most influential PD I say I have had cannot be described as this. But a few I can think of have been adoptions of initiatives such as the PYP, MYP, Singapore Math, and different reading and writing programs. 

I think coaching also falls into this category.

Connected to classroom practice, pedagogy, and content
    Most all of the PD I have taken has, thankfully, been directly related to what I am doing in the classroom. 

    Shaped by data
      This is something I do not know whether the PD I have taken (as well as the PD chosen for me).

      Intensive, ongoing, and long-term
        Again, the initiatives are those ongoing PDs I have experienced. By being long-term and embedded, or intensive, they were always on my mind while planning and teaching.

        Connects peers with purpose, focuses on innovation
        I think this is the most important of all the characteristics listed. In my experience, the connections with my peers has helped me think differently about what I do, and has helped me think more deeply about what I do. 

        I originally started using Twitter professionally about 5 years ago based on a recommendation from a colleague. The colleague was transformational for me, but left the school soon after he arrived, but the connections I made on Twitter never leave (and now we are connected on Twitter).

        Collaborative and structured to offer educators chances to learn from others
        I have had limited exposure to this type of PD, but it increased with a change of schools. It is this type of PD that we began last year on a small scale using our tech ambassadors program. Twice a month we meet for 20 minutes, take turns sharing what we are doing in class, and give feedback to each other.

        For further thought:
        How can I better incorporate these characteristics into the PD we deliver at school?

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