Teacher Preparation > Supporting Practicing Teachers > Approaches to Professional Development > Tips for Good Professional Development Programs

Tips for Developing High-Quality Professional Development Programs

Created by Jennifer L. B. Anderson, Ph.D., SERC, Carleton College.


Characteristics of Effective Professional-Development Programs

Quoted directly from The Role of Scientists in the Professional Development of Science Teachers
p.2, NRC, 1996 :
  • Scientists, teachers, and administrators collaborated in the program's development and implementation.
  • Participating teachers were treated as professionals.
  • The program was designed to meet important school-based needs.
  • Opportunities were provided for continuing involvement among participants.
  • Evaluation was a continuous process and was used to improve the program.
  • New partnerships, projects, and networks were stimulated among participating teachers and between teachers and scientists.
  • Program directors used effective publicity and recruitment strategies.
  • The program was encouraged and supported by school districts and school administrators.
  • Effective dissemination strategies were used.
  • Program directors had practical knowledge of the process of change.
  • A charismatic person or group provided strong leadership.
"Whatever form a professional development program takes and whatever organization sponsors it, it will be more effective if it is institutionalized to provide continuity and ensure long-term support. This message is vital."

The Role of Scientists in the Professional Development of Science Teachers
p.7, NRC, 1996