Running Head: LEADING 1
Leading Professional Development
February 18, 2012
EDUC 7742 -2
Dr. Tammye Turpin
Running Head: LEADING 2
Leading Professional Development
Professional development is important to the school system as it enhances student
achievement because it is directly affected by teacher knowledge and competence. For this
reason, student data should guide the content of professional development and allow teachers to
share in the decision-making to create on-going learning experiences that will set high
expectations for student achievement. Holcomb suggested the goal of bringing professionals
together to focus on their needs and student learning should bring about a true community of
highly effective professionals that will be successful (2009). Professional development takes
time and effort to build a meaningful framework that has training, resources, and commitment
for an intended goal of improving student achievement.
Planning effective professional development is not easy and requires encouragement that
change is sometimes needed. The teachers need to know why a change is needed and how this
change is going to affect them and the students. There has to be a sense of trust and no fear
about the changes that are about to take place. The teachers need some opportunities to engage
in collaboration and feedback to see if their instruction is meeting the needs of the students and
ways to change the instruction if the students are not meeting the required standards. Dr. Easton
suggested teachers must know the students and how they learn to be able to reach their potentials
(Laureate, 2011). Therefore, Dr. Easton shared that learning begins in the classroom, there
should be honor for the professionals, and use the tools and strategies learned to make a
difference in student learning (Laureate, 2011).
The professional development that is no longer effective is making educators as a whole
group attend workshops and in-service days with a speaker to talk about the changes.
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Unfortunately, administrators and professional development leaders do not follow up to see if the
educators understood the speaker’s ideas and how to implement this in the classroom to impact
student learning. Leaders need to work with the teachers through an on-going process to make
sure learning and new practices are being implemented and collect data that will prove progress
is being made in student achievement.
Planning an action plan for effective professional development begins with the end in mind.
Killion and Roy described a seven-step process to plan for results-based professional learning
(2009). The steps are “step1-analyze student learning needs; step 2-identify characteristics of
community, district, school, department, and staff; step 3-develop improvement goals and
specific student outcomes; step 4-identify educator learning needs; step 5-study the research for
specific professional learning programs, strategies, or interventions; step 6-plan intervention,
implementation, and evaluation; step 7-implement, sustain, and evaluate the professional
development intervention to reach the goal of improved student learning” (Killion & Roy, 2009,
p.99). This allows teachers to know exactly what is expected and the results that are being
The design phase includes taking a look at current practices to see what needs should be
addressed and how to go about the change. The design starts with data analysis from student
learning and then incorporates curriculum design. This would allow the stakeholders to engage
in the decisions together using study groups, tuning protocols, and Professional Learning
Communities to look at student performance (Easton, 2008).
The evaluation phase is looking at the changes to see if the professional learning made a
change in teacher and student learning (Killion & Roy, 2009). Formative and summative
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evaluations are used to validate the action plan and the intended results. SMART goals are used
to focus on the teacher quality and student learning (Killion & Roy, 2009).A logic model will be
constructed to help teachers plan inputs, resources, actions, and outcomes to reach the intended
result of increased student achievement (Killion & Roy, 2009).
The implementation phase uses the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) to reflect on
the levels of use and stages of concern to address the personal side of change for the teachers
(Hall & Hord, 2011). Innovation Configurations Map are used to observe, document classroom
practices, coach, and target professional development that will lead to more effective instruction
and student learning (Hall & Hord, 2011). Principal leadership affects how change is
implemented by the Change Facilitator style that is displayed within an organization of being a
responder, manager, or initiator (Hall & Hord, 2011).
Professional development is impacted by the content, process, and context in an organized
framework (Laureate, 2011). Dr. Hirsh described the three components as part of knowing that
the professional development is effective when the intended results of education practice and
student learning are improved (Laureate, 2011). The content reflects the knowledge that teachers
need to know and be able to do, the process reflects the way educators acquire the knowledge
and skills to support student outcomes, and the context reflects the conditions to ensure the
content and process are completed to improve student achievement (Laureate, 2011). Dr. Hirsh
suggested professional development is only effective if it impacts educators and students (2011).
The most challenging issues related to context at my school is finding more time to
participate in learning activities and collaborate in more meaningful terms. Collaboration does
take place as well as walk-throughs but there never seems to be enough time to discuss
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everything like we would hope we could. It is a working progress and hopefully it will come
together as we all grow a little stronger each year in our professional learning communities and
reflect the strategies learned in our classrooms. If time was allowed, the activities could become
more job-embedded than they are now. Professional learning is on-going and more time in the
Professional Learning Communities could prove to be more beneficial to our students and their
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Easton, L.B. (2008). Powerful designs for professional learning, (2nd ed.). Oxford, OH: NSDC.
Hall, G.E., & Hord, S.M. (2011). Implementing change: Patterns, principles, and potholes
(3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Holcomb, E. (2009). Asking the right questions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Killion, J., & Roy, P. (2009). Becoming a learning school. Oxford, OH: NSDC.
Laureate Education, Inc. (2011). A framework for professional development. [Video] Baltimore,
MD: Hirsh and Easton.