"The imperative for professionals, policymakers and the public at large to recognize that performance-based accountability, if it is to do what is was intended to do-improve the quality of educational experience for all students and increase the performance of schools-requires a strategy for investing in the knowledge and skill of educators" (Elmore, 2002).
Our professional development is characterized by six research-based components that build curriculum clarity and focus on instructional strategies while responding to the needs of students. In other words, professional development acknowledges the assumption that improving teacher practice improves student achievement.
Six components of professional development in Arlington:
- Continuous and ongoing: How do activities contribute to transferring knowledge and to improving practice throughout the year? (Birman, 2000; Kedzior, 2004)
- Linked to student work: How will evidence be collected that reveals information about student learning? (Langer, 2005; Little, 2003)
- Collaborative: How will peer collaboration be extended? (King & Newmann, 2000; Guskey, 1995; Darling-Hammond, 2004)
- Research-based, content focused: How will not only subject matter be impacted but also how will the understanding of concepts be explored? (Resnick, 2005)
- Contextualized in daily work: What evidence should be seen in continuous classroom instructional practice? (Resnick, 2005; Guskey, 1995)
- Promoting reflection: How will educators examine their practice? (Kelleher, 2004; Schon, 1998)
These components should be addressed through any form of professional development, including:
- "Tuesday" calendars (including whole school or department/discipline meetings)
- In-district workshops
- Study groups
- Full day PD
- Leadership Team
- Curriculum committees