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By Andrew Miller
We can harness the engagement our students find in project-based learning in our own professional development.

by Julie Winkle Giulioni
Remaining relevant and effective means buying into the non-negotiable need for perpetual growth and development. It means becoming a learning ninja.

By Dr. Margy Jones-Carey
The premise of andragogy (adult learning theory) tells us that adults want to have professional development opportunities that work for their individual learning styles, delivered in a timely fashion, fully supported in the implementation of the learning and not in a “one shot” approach. But the professional learning system of schools just can’t seem to figure out what to do differently.

By Piper Jones
First, I think we must begin by discussing what school improvement is and what it is not. It is what happens when a sustainable culture, concerned with the betterment of self, which focuses on the improved outcomes of teachers and students, is created. It is a continuous process which relies heavily on self-reflection, goal setting, developing plans to obtain training and resources needed to implement strategies which meet the goals/needs of the students and teachers involved in the process. Once the plan and strategies are implemented monitoring must take place so adjustments can be made to the plan as needed. The cycle continues and it doesn’t end, if true school improvement is your goal.

By Patti Talbot and Lindsay Jordan
For more than ten years, students from Radford University and Virginia Tech have traveled together for a month in the summers to work and learn in public schools in the Domasi area of Malawi, a small country in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of these university students are future teachers and the primary activities of the trip relate to teaching English to the school children who will be expected to take a written examination administered entirely in English after standard (grade) 8 in order to qualify to proceed to secondary school.

By Valerie Strauss
One of the primary things that teachers value but that school reformers have given short shrift is time to collaborate. Here, Stanford University Professor Linda Darling-Hammond, an expert on teaching and teacher education, writes about why this is so important to the profession.

By Bradley A. Ermeling
The principal of a large urban middle school in the Midwest asked for Bradley A. Ermeling's guidance as a researcher and advisor to help make their teams' collaboration times more productive. five key principles. Read how five key principles based on the assumption that behavior change leads to attitude change helped him move a group of teachers from argumentation to collaboration that improved teaching and learning.

By Anthony Armstrong
Read how one Kansas educator used the Standards for Professional Learning to create a heightened commitment to professional development in her district.

by Judy Newhouse, Learning Forward Virginia and Jenni Donohoo, Learning Forward Ontario
Laura Lipton and Bruce Wellman are co-directors of MiraVia, a publishing and professional development company specializing in products, publications and seminars that provide effective strategies, practical resources and innovative ideas for learning-focused teachers, mentors, instructional coaches, and school leaders.

Learning Forward recently released the newly revised Standards for Professional Learning. This third iteration of the standards outlines the characteristics of professional learning that lead to effective teaching practices, supportive leadership, and improved student results.

by Hayes Mizzell
Written for parents, community members, and policy makers by Learning Forward's senior distinguished fellow, this booklet explains in fundamental terms what professional development is and why it is an important school improvement strategy.

by M. Bruce Haslam of Policy Studies Associates
This guide offers succinct recommendations for more frequent and more rigorous evaluation of teacher professional development to improve both the quality of professional learning and its results. Developed originally under contracts with Harford County Public Schools and the Maryland State Department of Education, this report assists schools and districts to evaluate the impact of teacher professional development on teaching practice and student learning. Learning Forward supported modifications to the resource guide to make it useful for schools and districts in all states and beyond.

by Learning Forward and Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education
Launched in 2008 by NSDC and a team of researchers from the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE), the three-part Status of Professional Learning research study aims to measure the effectiveness of professional learning in the United States. Funding for the multiyear research effort comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In 2009, NSDC released Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A Status Report on Teacher Development in the United States and Abroad. This report examines what research has revealed about professional learning that improves teachers' practice and student learning. The report describes the availability of such opportunities in the United States and high-achieving nations around the world, which have been making substantial and sustained investments in professional learning for teachers over the last two decades.

The report from Phase II of this multiyear research initiative examines the status of professional learning in the United States. The findings indicate that the nation is making some progress in providing increased support and mentoring for new teachers. However, the study also reveals that teachers' opportunities for the kind of ongoing, intensive professional learning that research shows has a substantial impact on student learning are decreasing.

Policy shapes practices, and the increasingly important realm of professional development is no exception. To identify effective professional development policies and strategies, the Stanford University research team examined the policy frameworks supporting high levels of professional development activity in four states in Phase III of the multiyear research study.

by Andrew Croft, Jane G. Coggshall, Megan Dolan, Elizabeth Powers, with Joellen Killion
Prepared collaboratively by the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, the Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center, and NSDC, this issue brief strives to define job-embedded professional development, identify who is responsible for it, and describe how to implement it.

Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement/University of Minnesota and Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto, July 2010
This study offers new evidence affirming the strong connection between what school leaders do and student achievement and sheds new light on what effective leadership involves. Principals exert the most influence by improving teachers' motivation and working conditions. The study shows that leadership makes its mark largely by strengthening a school's professional community, an environment where teachers work together to improve classroom instruction.