A new report on the state of professional learning for teachers suggests that teachers aren’t getting time to practice what they’re learning in PD sessions.
Although they express a strong preference for on-campus collaborative learning during the workday, just 25% of teacher respondents indicate that the majority of their professional learning takes place during school hours ….
These findings conflict with the recommendations made by Learning Forward and other professional educator organizations. According to the U.S. Department of Education, ongoing, high quality, job-embedded professional development is clearly tied to improving instruction.
So how can we make PD more “job-embedded”?
We need to start with how professional development is delivered. PD is still dominated by workshop-style instruction that is delivered during in-service days and during holidays. Teachers value opportunities to collaborate, get and give feedback and connect the dots between PD instruction and practical classroom application. If we silo instruction away from class time, it’s hard to reconcile the two.
One solution is to plan for follow-up, through peer assessment or coaching. The other is to find ways that PD instruction can take place anytime.
This second solution is one of the drivers for MakeMatic – using bitesized, mobile-friendly video content allows teachers to access high-quality instruction as and when they need it. If we make PD an everyday activity, then it can then feed directly into peer-to-peer feedback, classroom observation and coaching.