Thoughts and Tools

Professional Development at MCS; Good to Great

I've been thinking quite a bit about professional development in my school district.  I think we have a great start and a solid foundation to what we are doing.  But I think there are areas we could do better too!  Interested?  I made a video you might like to watch!  I'll be posting again soon about more specific ideas!


You'll notice some footnotes pop up during the video.  Here is the relavent information you might be interested in:


  1. Suggested best practices for Prodessional Development (PD) pd goals must be aligned with bigger school initiatives (Gulamhussein, 2013 a,b).
  2. Teachers may need up to 20 attempts at learning a new skill before becoming proficient at the techniue.  Additionally, this may require up to 50 hours of focused instruction and coaching to change paradigms and practices in the classroom. (Gulamhussein, 2013 a,b).
  3. Workshops (alone) for delivering new teaching techniques are innefective at changing classroom practices for most teachers. (Wei, , Darling-Hammond, Andree, Richardson, & Orphanos, S. 2009).
  4. Suggested best practices for PD include pairing teachers with mentors and/or coaches over a long duration. (Gulamhussein, 2013 a,b).
  5. Research shows that implementing new techniques without a deep understanding of those techniques' underlying philosophies does not change student understanding and is therefore ineffective (Andrews, Leonard, Colgrove,  & Kalinowski, 2011).
  6. Suggested best practices for PD group teachers by content or grade level in order to provide more specific implementation support and problem solving accuracy (Gulamhussein, 2013 a,b).



You can read more about my thoughts behind the video (kind of a deep dive into the process) if you really want to.  And if you'd rather read the transcript of the video, you can do that too.


Thanks for reading!



Andrews, T. M., Leonard, M. J., Colgrove, C. A., & Kalinowski, S. T. (2011). Active Learning Not Associated with Student Learning in a Random Sample of College Biology Courses. CBE Life Sciences Education, 10(4), 394-405. doi: 10.1187/cbe.11-07-0061


Gulamhussein, A. (2013a). Teaching the Teacher; Effective Professional Development in an Era of High Stakes Accountability: National School Board Association, Center for Public Education.


Gulamhussein, A. (2013b). Teaching the Teacher: At a Glance: National School Board Association, Center for Public Education.


Wei, R. C., Darling-Hammond, L., Andree, A., Richardson, N., & Orphanos, S. (2009). Professional Learning in the Learning Profession: A Status Report on Teacher Development in the U.S. and Abroad. National Staff Development Council. 


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Curtis White, M.S., M.C.E.
High School Faculty
Math, Science, Bible & Computers
Abundant Life Christian School
A Madison Christian School