In my search to explore ways to develop, educate and coach teaching quality I found 5 elements do deal with. Teaching quality is defined as instruction that enables a wide range of students to learn. Therefore the aim is is to reach all students and not just those who choose to participate in classroom learning.
One of the areas of best practices is that of job embedded teacher professional development. It states five elements that are found in successful professional development programs:
– Collaborative learning;
– Strong link between professional learning, assessments and curriculum;
– Active learning;
– Deeper knowledge of content and how to teach;
– Sustained learning.
Unfortunately today in many schools, collaboration is limited. Due to the pressure on learning outcomes and testing teachers feel limited to collaborate.
To support effective teaching learning needs to be based on the gap between what a student knows & shows and their learning outcomes & goals. Formative assessment strategies and tactics can also help create a learning environment where students take control of their own learning. Besides active learning for students teachers must become learning & subject experts. Teaching has to go beyond techniques.
Students their professional development needs to be ongoing, student-led, and collaborative for true success.
I think these five elements of teacher professional development are elements that need to be part of any program aimed at success. To support the curiousity and entrepreneurship of people I would like to add a more teacherpreneur approach:
1. Choice – They need and appreciate choice. Choice within a given framework or focus allows people to determine their personal priorities.
2. Flexibility – In addition to choice, people need to be allowed to make modifications to make the new learning work best in their own environments.
3. Small Steps – It takes time to change practice and to be lasting it must become a part of your routine. By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and every day over a period of time, you will get a lot better.
4. Support – Putting change into practice is challenging and requires both support and accountability. Communities provide people the opportunity to develop personal action plans, report back to the group what happened as a result of implementing those plans, and reflect and receive feedback (support) from people who are working on the same changes in practice.
What key elements do you think need to be part of a successful teacher professional development program? Please share your thoughts below.