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Focus On Basics

Volume 7, Issue A ::: June 2004

Connecting Research and Practice...

Compiled by Cristine Smith

Features of the MAAL Professional Development
on YCC
Research and Literature that Support these Features
The training was continuous and extended in duration (an initial three-day workshop, breakthrough sessions, video conferences, one-on-one coaching, and site visits). Intensive, longer-term professional development better enables teachers to retain and incorporate concepts into their teaching than single-session activities (Porter et al., 2000).
The initial workshop introduced the concepts and techniques; coaching and site visits provided support once back in the GED classroom. Good professional development includes components of demonstration, practice, and feedback (Joyce & Showers, 1995); follow-up to the professional development by a coach helps teachers to take action on what they learn (Joyce & Showers; Joyce et al., 1993).
The breakthrough sessions helped teachers share their ideas and experiences in trying to make the YCC strategy work. Because many factors influence how much practitioners can initiate change in their classrooms or programs, it's important for them to have opportunities to strategize about barriers to implementation in order to deal with the program forces that may hinder change (Smith et al., 2003).
Requiring that two practitioners from each program attend the training ensured that they could support each other once back in their programs. Participating in professional development with others of the same program increases the effectiveness of the professional development (Garet et al., 2001).

Garet, M. S., Porter, A. C., Desimone, L., Birman, B., & Yoon, K. S. (2001). "What makes professional development effective? Results from a national sample of teachers." American Educational Research Journal, 38(4), 915-945.

Joyce, B., & Showers, B. (1995). Student Achievement Through Staff Development: Fundamentals of School Renewal (2nd ed.). White Plains, NY: Longman.

Joyce, B., Wolf, J., & Calhoun, E. (1993). The Self-Renewing School. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Porter, A. C., Garet, M. S., Desimone, L.D., Yoon, K. S., & Birman, B. F. (2000). Does Professional Development Change Teaching Practice? Results from a Three-year Study: Executive Summary. Washington, DC: US Department of Education, Office of the Under Secretary.

Smith, C., Hofer, J., Gillespie, M., Solomon, M., & Rowe, K. (2003). How Teachers Change: A Study of Professional Development in Adult Education, NCSALL Reports #25. Boston: National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy.

About the Author
Cristine Smith is Deputy Director of NCSALL. She coordinates NCSALL's dissemination activities and directed NCSALL's Staff Development Study.

Updated 7/27/07 :: Copyright © 2005 NCSALL