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Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A Status Report on Teacher Development in the United States and Abroad

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... School administrators can provide opportunities to sustain embedded professional development over time through intensive study of content, which offers opportunities for collegial collaboration between teachers in general and special education (Borko, 2004;Brownell et al., 2006;Buell, et al., 1999). This collaboration is associated with purpose-driven task enactment, which is in turn associated with distributed leadership models (Smylie et al., 2007), capacity building, targeting commitment to equitable outcomes (Frattura & Capper, 2007;Theoharis, 2010), and improved learner achievement (Darling-Hammond et al., 2009;Desimone et al., 2002). ...
... The professional collaboration of teachers on professional tasks appears to have an even greater impact when teachers focus on meaningful tasks germane to the school, content area, and/or grade-level goals and responsibilities (Garet et al., 2001). While 59% of teachers found professional development in content areas to be useful, less than 50% of teachers found other professional development to be useful (Darling-Hammond et al., 2009). Similarly, Smith and Desimone (2003) found that teachers reported that content-related professional development as most useful. ...
... ;Darling-Hammond et al., 2009; ...
... It is apparent that using SBA for formative purposes rather than as simply another form of assessment of learning requires teachers to develop their knowledge of assessment and skills associated with using assessment in this way (Bennett, 2011). Authors including Black et al. (2004), and Darling-Hammond et al. (2009) expressed the view that teachers need substantial professional development related to formative assessment in order to effectively and efficaciously integrate SBA into their practice. In fact, Darling-Hammond et al. were of the view that teachers require a minimum of 50 hours of professional development to bring about significant changes in their practice. ...
... Throughout the interview with participants, they acknowledge the need for professional development to prepare them for managing the M-SBA, which was an innovation for them 26 even though SBAs had been integrated into almost all CSEC subjects. This perspective is congruent with the research literature that suggests that assessment-focused professional development that can develop teachers' literacy and improve their ability to meaningfully integrate formative assessment into their practice to improve teaching and learning (Bennett, 2011;Black et al., 2004;Cheah, 2010;Darling-Hammond et al., 2009;Stiggins, 1995). However, they offered no explanations for not taking personal responsibility for developing their assessment competence even after the implementation of M-SBA. ...
Article
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In 2016 the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) introduced a school-based assessment component into the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Mathematics examination. The assessment required teachers to guide students' exploration of real-world scenarios through mathematics projects. Despite teachers' protestations about poor communication and support throughout its implementation, there have been no published investigations into teachers' perspectives on the assessment, including their understanding of the assessment, their preparedness to implement it, and their perspective on its contribution to teaching and learning mathematics. Thematic analysis of focus-group interviews with nine secondary school teacher-implementers in Trinidad and Tobago revealed teachers' appreciation of the assessment as a teaching and learning tool, despite the challenges they anticipated in managing teaching time, and administration of numerous projects among diverse student populations. This study provides insights into teachers' perspectives in the early stages of the adoption of an educational innovation, as a backdrop for further exploration and comparison of their perspectives after the initial implementation phase.
... Creating and supporting a professional network is challenging work (Mulford, 2007;Wei, Darling-Hammond, Andree, Richardson, & Orphanos, 2009). Further research is needed to identify the dimensions of professional development, relevant curriculum, and mentoring/coaching that may prove fruitful for transfer to other institutions. ...
Article
This collaborative action research project describes how researchers are re-imagining the way aspiring leaders are supported and mentored for positions in Indigenous-serving schools. The researchers utilized a system of support for developing and mentoring instructional leaders modeled after a framework designed by the University of Washington's Center for Educational Leadership (2016). The system brings together three central facets of support: professional networking, relevant professional development, and mentoring/coaching. Preliminary inquiries revealed that professional networking and mentoring/coaching involve a developmental process, which when realized, holds the potential of yielding positive impacts for the career aspirations and well-being of aspiring rural and Native American school and system leaders. Work toward a professional network began in 2015 with funding support from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. In this innovative approach to developing leaders for Indigenous-serving schools, students were first introduced to the Indigenous Well-Being Model as a framework for promoting leadership and learning and empowering our sacred Nations (Secatero, 2015). Students completed a developmental networking map in which they identified senior, peer, and junior mentors who would help them develop their leadership skills and support their career aspirations. Students also received intensive coaching and mentoring during their supervised internship. Recommendations for further development and support of aspiring school and system leaders are presented.
... Hence, this represents a shift towards ongoing and career-long professional development embedded in everyday activities (Eraut, 2004), where learning is no longer a purely individual activity but becomes a shared endeavour between teachers (Lieberman & Pointer Mace, 2008;Stoll, Bolam, McMahon, Wallace, & Thomas, 2006). A significant body of research has attributed improvement gains, enhanced teacher capacity, and staff capacity at least in part to the formation of a PLC, thus demonstrating the relevance of teachers' collegial relations as a factor in school improvement (Bryk, Camburn, & Louis, 1999;Darling-Hammond, Chung Wei, Alethea, Richardson, & Orphanos, 2009;McLaughlin & B. Vanblaere · G. Devos (*) Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium e-mail: geert.devos@ugent.be Talbert, 2001;Stoll et al., 2006;Tam, 2015;Vangrieken, Dochy, Raes, & Kyndt, 2015;Wang, 2015). ...
... Hence, this represents a shift towards ongoing and career-long professional development embedded in everyday activities (Eraut, 2004), where learning is no longer a purely individual activity but becomes a shared endeavour between teachers (Lieberman & Pointer Mace, 2008;Stoll, Bolam, McMahon, Wallace, & Thomas, 2006). A significant body of research has attributed improvement gains, enhanced teacher capacity, and staff capacity at least in part to the formation of a PLC, thus demonstrating the relevance of teachers' collegial relations as a factor in school improvement (Bryk, Camburn, & Louis, 1999;Darling-Hammond, Chung Wei, Alethea, Richardson, & Orphanos, 2009;McLaughlin & B. Vanblaere · G. Devos (*) Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium e-mail: geert.devos@ugent.be Talbert, 2001;Stoll et al., 2006;Tam, 2015;Vangrieken, Dochy, Raes, & Kyndt, 2015;Wang, 2015). ...
... Hence, this represents a shift towards ongoing and career-long professional development embedded in everyday activities (Eraut, 2004), where learning is no longer a purely individual activity but becomes a shared endeavour between teachers (Lieberman & Pointer Mace, 2008;Stoll, Bolam, McMahon, Wallace, & Thomas, 2006). A significant body of research has attributed improvement gains, enhanced teacher capacity, and staff capacity at least in part to the formation of a PLC, thus demonstrating the relevance of teachers' collegial relations as a factor in school improvement (Bryk, Camburn, & Louis, 1999;Darling-Hammond, Chung Wei, Alethea, Richardson, & Orphanos, 2009;McLaughlin & B. Vanblaere · G. Devos (*) Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium e-mail: geert.devos@ugent.be Talbert, 2001;Stoll et al., 2006;Tam, 2015;Vangrieken, Dochy, Raes, & Kyndt, 2015;Wang, 2015). ...
Book
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This open access book discusses challenges in school improvement research and different methodological approaches that have the potential to foster school improvement research. Research on school improvement and accountability analysis places high demands on a study’s design and method. The potential of combining the depth of case studies with the breath of quantitative measures and analyses in a mixed-methods design seems very promising. Consequently, the focus of the book lies on innovative methodological approaches. The book chapters address design, measurement, and analysis developments as well as theoretical and conceptual developments. The relevance of the research presented in the chapters for educational accountability is discussed in the book’s discussion chapter. More specifically, authors present one specific innovative methodological approach and clarify that approach with a concrete example in the context of school improvement, based on empirical data when possible. In this way, this book helps researchers designing complex useful studies.
... Hence, this represents a shift towards ongoing and career-long professional development embedded in everyday activities (Eraut, 2004), where learning is no longer a purely individual activity but becomes a shared endeavour between teachers (Lieberman & Pointer Mace, 2008;Stoll, Bolam, McMahon, Wallace, & Thomas, 2006). A significant body of research has attributed improvement gains, enhanced teacher capacity, and staff capacity at least in part to the formation of a PLC, thus demonstrating the relevance of teachers' collegial relations as a factor in school improvement (Bryk, Camburn, & Louis, 1999;Darling-Hammond, Chung Wei, Alethea, Richardson, & Orphanos, 2009;McLaughlin & B. Vanblaere · G. Devos (*) Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium e-mail: geert.devos@ugent.be Talbert, 2001;Stoll et al., 2006;Tam, 2015;Vangrieken, Dochy, Raes, & Kyndt, 2015;Wang, 2015). ...
Chapter
In educational research, comparisons are often made of groups or of the development of various (latent) constructs over time (e.g. teaching quality in different countries or different groups’ (girls vs. boys) perceptions of teaching quality). However, before the results of such comparisons can be accurately interpreted, measurement invariance (MI) of the constructs under investigation needs to be established to ensure their meaning remains consistent across groups, subjects, or assessment points. Thus, if mean level changes are to be compared between groups, scalar factorial invariance needs to be established. In this chapter, we investigate and discuss how results of MI analyses should be interpreted and whether they should be reported on with regard to contents. Using data from the well-known Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study on teaching quality, we introduce an approach to examining the conditions under which comparison among cultural groups is possible even if MI is lacking.
Research Proposal
Impact of School Learning Action Cell on Teachers Skills Development
Chapter
Moving towards school improvement requires coming to understand what it means for a teacher to engage in ongoing learning and how a professional community can contribute to that end. This mixed methods study first classifies 48 primary schools into clusters, based on the strength of three professional learning community (PLC) characteristics. This results in four meaningful categories of PLCs at different developmental stages. During a one-year project, teacher logs about a school-specific innovation were then collected in four primary schools belonging to two extreme clusters. This analysis focuses on contrasting the collaboration and resulting learning outcomes of experienced teachers in these high and low PLC schools. The groups clearly differed in the type, contents, and profoundness of their collaboration throughout the school year. While the contents of teachers’ learning outcomes show both differences and similarities between high and low PLC schools, outcomes were more diverse in high PLC schools, nurturing optimism about the learning potential in PLCs. The study has implications for systematically supporting teacher learning through PLCs.
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