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Online PD Provider: Not All Teachers Get the Same Opportunities

Online PD Provider: Not All Teachers Get the Same Opportunities

Teachers need professional development not only for themselves, but for their students. But how many get these types of opportunities?

Alvin Crawford, CEO of Knowledge Delivery Systems, an organization dedicated to providing online professional development for teachers, told Valerie Strauss in a recent Washington Post article that many teachers do not get the same professional development opportunities as others. Crawford touches on the teacher tenure debate and said that teacher training and teacher tenure issues go hand in hand. 

"Good teachers want to be great teachers," he said. "But no one – not even the most ardent supporters or detractors of tenure – can argue that many teachers are getting the support and training they need to be effective and efficient in many of today’s classrooms. Unfortunately, the structure of teacher professional development is letting them – and us – down. In truth, the situation is far worse than many realize."

Crawford referred to a study in 2009 that asked teachers about their experience in professional development. Many teachers who responded to the study conducted by Center for Public Education said that it was "totally useless."

Crawford could be said to be anti-lecture and said that "transformative, strategic professional development needs to be 50 hours or more plus less formal and ongoing interaction and peer engagement to refine skills and model successes. It must also be tailored by subject, grade level and type of student."

Instead of more professional development, more targeted and multi-layered professional development is in order. Also, the article indicates that school districts need to be further supportive of their teachers' new skills. 

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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