Sunday, April 30, 2017

5 Characteristics of Effective PD

Professional Development is an essential piece of education. It allows educators to stay up to date with the latest curriculum and classroom practices. I have made an infographic based on the research from the Center for Public Education, view the full report here. The research supports the following in regards to PD.

Duration - Professional Development should be held in multiple sessions over a period time. The extended amount of time allows more opportunities for practice and is more likely to be carried out in the classroom.

Support - Professional Development should offer follow-up and support. When implementing new classroom practices or new content, support is a critical piece of the puzzle. Coaching and being available to offer feedback is essential during the first stages.

Engage - Professional Development needs to be actively engaging for participants when introducing new topics. Just like students, adults need hands on, out of their seat experiences.

Model - Professional Development sessions should model how to implement the strategies in the classroom. Modeling allows the teacher to act as the student and view the information from a student’s perspective.

Specific - Professional Development should be content or grade level specific. Higher order questions are best practices for teaching students, but apply differently to content areas of mathematics and English Language Arts, therefore, a generic professional development on higher order questioning or checks for understanding would not benefit teachers when offered to K-12 teachers at one time. Specifically targeting grade levels and subjects while allowing time for collaboration with peers would have the most impact in the classroom.

In reflecting on these principles, I believe that another characteristic of Professional Development should be teacher choice. The content of the PD should be offered in multiple ways to allow teachers to engage and interact with it in the way that best suits their needs as a learner. Perhaps one teacher needs the face to face offering after school, while another prefers an online delivery that they can access at their own time and own pace.

Gulamhussein, Allison. (2013). Teaching the Teacher - Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes 
Accountability. National School Boards Association Center for Public Education. Retrieved from

Garman, Rod. (2013). Snapshots: 5 Principles of Effective PD. Retrieved from