Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Good News--You CAN Make a Difference

In an attempt to fulfill this year's resolution for getting better organized, I'm reading a lot of articles right now that I had filed "to read later." I'm sure at the time I didn't think it would be two years later, but as luck would have it, this one by Ronald F. Ferguson of the Tripod Project from the Fall 2006 issue of JSD couldn't be any more timely. In today's economic climate, leaders are struggling to meet budgetary limitations while still providing top notch professional development for teachers.

The good news is that school leaders can effectively improve instruction simply by addressing the following five challenges for implementing professional development:
  1. Introduce activities in ways that inspire ownership
  2. Balance principal control with teacher autonomy
  3. Commit to ambitious goals
  4. Maintain industriousness in pursuit of those goals
  5. Effectively harvest and sustain the gains

In other words, succcessful practices in schools have less to do with the program or initiative being implemented, and more to do with the implementation process. So what can school leaders do?

  1. Select and introduce the focus of the PD
  2. Assign responsibilities and define accountability for participation, including feedback mechanisms.
  3. Refine and clarify both school and personal goals (of teachers) for instructional improvement.
  4. Implement and monitor activities to help teachers succeed at these goals.
  5. Celebrate and reward accomplishments.

Making the PD enjoyable, with feasible goals that are clearly defined, and encouraging peer support won't cost a thing, but can provide amazing returns.

1 comment:

need to buy a term paper said...

This is realy good news, thank you!!!