A model for assessing the effectiveness of professional development for improving student learning
For most of the last 50 years, teachers and administrators have perceived professional development and the instructional role primarily in terms of what one individual does with classes of others. Teachers, like their students, were considered to be rather passive acceptors of the instruction, rather than active modifiers. Thus, there was very little effort to gather empirical evidence that professional development worked especially when it came to its impact on student achievement. This project proposes a research design to gather empirical data on the Iowa Professional Development Model supported by technology. In this study educators were provided with an opportunity to integrate or vertically transfer much of what they learn through their professional development activities. The primary means of achieving this was through the building of a mature professional learning community connected by technology providing the key components of coaching and feedback reducing teacher isolation. These communities led to increased teacher understanding of the strategies, stimulated change, and resulted in increased student achievement.