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Sustaining and differentiating staff development


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Presentation from 2010 NAGC

Published in: Education
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Sustaining and differentiating staff development

  1. 1. Catherine A. Little The University of Connecticut Elizabeth A. Fogarty East Carolina University
  2. 2. Session Objectives 1. Present teacher case studies illustrating variation among teacher needs for professional development opportunities. 1. Overview several methods for providing research-based professional development that can be adapted to participants' settings. Participants will leave the session with practical ideas for addressing teacher needs through differentiated staff development opportunities.
  3. 3. Trends in Professional Development from 2010 NSDC Study  Teachers are most likely to receive Professional Development opportunities in their content focus.  Decrease in intensity of workshops – shift from long-term opportunities to more short- term experiences.  Teachers rated more intensive professional development experiences as being significantly more useful. (Wei, Darling-Hammond, & Adamson, 2010)
  4. 4. Guskey, 1986
  5. 5. If our professional development programs are to recognize the individuality of every teacher’s learning and practice, then we must employ a model of teacher growth that does not constrain teacher learning by characterizing it in a prescriptive linear fashion, but anticipates the possibility of multiple change sequences and a variety of possible teacher growth networks (Clarke & Hollingsworth, 2002, p. 965).
  6. 6. • How do teachers experience the implementation of a new instructional framework in reading? o What topics, experiences, and concerns are present in teachers’ reflections during implementation? o What patterns, if any, are evident for individual teachers during implementation?
  7. 7. • Documenting implementation on a weekly basis • Prompts: o Weekly Reflection: o What went well this week: o What I will improve on next week: o Personal Goals for next week: o Goals for students for next week: • Study: Limited to comments regarding Phase 2
  8. 8. Cautions/Points of Awareness  Teachers are not socialized to deep reflection (Attard, 2007)  Focus of teacher reflections tends to be more heavily on plans than examining past actions (Marcos, Sanchez, & Tillema, 2008)  Low level of teacher comfort with implementing new practices as part of a research study (Pence, Justice, & Wiggins, 2008)
  9. 9. Observations • Shift from dominant management concerns to greater relative focus on instruction and specific aspects of learning • Management concerns continued to be a focus, but emerged in larger quantities from particular teachers instead of being widespread across the group in later periods
  10. 10. Four Teachers  4 different schools, 4 different states, all implementing SEM-R Rachel Iris Lenore Heather Grade Level 3rd 3rd 5th 3rd Years Experience 7 3 5 8
  11. 11. Rachel  Log was used extensively to note questions, goals, frustrations, successes  Only category appearing in all time periods was conference management; total comments included 7 of the 11 categories  Reflective leap in November to realize too many areas of focus and need to identify and focus on particular goals
  12. 12. Quotes from Rachel  I am still working on sticking to a time and developing a system for conferences. (Sept)  What went well this week: Truth? It felt like nothing. (Oct)  My goals need to be simplified. It seems like I have 4 or 5 goals each week and then I can’t keep track of which ones are met and which ones to focus on. I think I’ll make a list to cross out as I go and prioritize them? (Nov)  I’m referring to my checklist 4 pages back to see what needs to be improved upon. Things I can take off the list: uninterrupted SIR is happening now. I’m rockin-n-rollin on the conferencing time wise. (Dec)  I need to have students write the answer to conference questions as it takes so long to get back to another conference with the student and they can’t remember when we get back together-this should be included as part of my “how to come to a conference prepared” mini lesson (Jan)
  13. 13. Iris  Great variety in categories of comments – among the largest variety of categories in each time period  Only teacher in sample to comment in “teacher comfort” category in all three time periods  Moved generally from overall discomfort with conferences to concerns over book match to greater differentiation for student needs
  14. 14. Comments from Iris  Personal goal for next week: work on decreasing conference times; continue working on comfortability [sic] with conference (Sept)  I am finding that I am still having to use conference time to re-direct kids to books that match. They are either choosing books too easy or too hard. (Oct)  The kids are really starting to enjoy conferencing. I have had a couple of kids ask me when they are conferencing next because they have so much to tell me. (Oct)  I feel that I am getting better at conferencing. I think it is a combination of my comfortability and practice and their knowledge and experience with the type of questions I am asking and deeper thinking that I am expecting. (Nov)  Conferencing improved this week- I am finding that it is easier to conference with my lower readers. I did use the bookmarks more when I met with my higher kids and it seemed to facilitate the conversation a bit more. (Jan)
  15. 15. Lenore  Did not comment on Phase 2 at all until November and began with feeling uncomfortable  Commented in 5 of 11 categories; frequent focus on behavior and classroom management toward end of journal  Other data indicated decline in teacher’s attitude about teaching reading.
  16. 16. Comments from Lenore  I really don’t feel comfortable with conferencing. I don’t feel as if they are as in depth as they could be. I don’t feel like I know the right questions to ask. (Nov)  Students were not very focused this week during Phase 2. (Jan)  Students were even more unfocused during phase 2 this week. I did not get much conferencing done because I continually had to speak to kids about talking and generally not being focused. (Jan)  Even thought conferences went well this week, students seem unfocused. I had to do a lot of redirection in between conferences I hope next week they will be more focused. (Jan)  Students were even less focused this week than last week. I don’t know if it is the mid-year slump or what, I did not conference with many students this week because I needed to monitor the whole group. (Feb)
  17. 17. Heather  Consistently focused from the beginning on student learning and conference content (commented on these two and conference management in all three time periods)  Began implementing strategy support (e.g., stickies) and specific instruction early in conferences, although students only reading 20 min at beginning  Focused her goals around using bookmarks and teaching self-regulation
  18. 18. Comments from Heather  I gave them sticky notes to write difficult/ challenging words, questions, and comments about their reading, but some need to be reminded to use the sticky notes and not interrupt during individual reading conferences. (Sept)  Many students are using more reading strategies and are able to discuss them during conferences. However, quite a few of the readers need to work on synthesizing what they read. Also, students reading books with little or no pictures need to work on visualizing. I will model the strategy for the whole group and for small groups as needed. (Oct)  Many students are able to easily identify the author’s purpose. A few are even using laughter as a cue to the author’s purpose. On the other hand, I had to remind a few students to use their sun/storm cloud when they have questions and not to interrupt the conferences. I also had a system set in place for conferencing with the students, however, several students are absent and so often that it is threatening to unravel the system. (Dec)  Students are identifying the reading strategies they are using and most of them are also beginning to use multiple strategies during the conferences. (Jan)
  19. 19. Excellent Professional Development is . . .  Reflective  Informed  Collaborative  Sustained  Differentiated From a list of 10 indicators by Tomlinson, 2005
  20. 20. Differentiating Professional Development  Conduct a needs assessment  Include observations  Include student data  Determine content and pedagogical needs  Allow for choice
  21. 21. Options for Differentiated Professional Development Professional Learning Communities Coaching: Resources and In-class teaming Facilitated Reflection
  22. 22. High Content and Process Proficiency Low Content and Process Proficiency High Self-Efficacy Heather Professional Learning Community Rachel Reflective Journaling Low Self-Efficacy Iris Professional Learning Community Lenore Coaching/Mentoring Also, when one encounters cases of inflated self-efficacy paired with low content and process proficiency, it is recommended that coaching/ mentoring be used.
  23. 23. What are Professional Learning Communities?  Attribute 1: Supportive and Shared Leadership.  Attribute 2: Collective Creativity.  Attribute 3: Shared Values and Vision .  Attribute 4: Supportive Conditions.  Attribute 5: Shared Personal Practice.
  24. 24. Coaching and Mentoring
  25. 25. Ideas for Keeping Professional Development Ongoing 1. All three options require ongoing meetings – create and keep a schedule. ( 2. Administrators should ask for updates at faculty meetings. 3. Administrators should show active support through participation, resources, and time.
  26. 26. References Allen, D. S. (2006). The push to excellence: Teachers focus on professional learning to lift student achievement. Journal of Staff Development, 27(1), 56-60. Clark & Hollingsworth (2002). Tomlinson, C. A. (2005). Traveling the road to differentiation in staff development. Journal of Staff Development, 26(4), 8-12. Wei, R. C., Darling-Hammond, L., & Adamson, F. (2010). Professional development in the United States: Trends and challenges. Dallas, TX: National Staff Development Council.