I realize I haven't posted in a few days, but in the midst of my traveling I am also trying to read research on professional development for my dissertation literature review outline draft due on Monday. It's so time consuming and a little brain-draining.
Just a quick summary of the consistent message I am getting:
1) Professional development needs to be content focused and relevant to the reality of what the teachers actually are doing in their classroom. Seems logical, but you would be amazed at how many times in my own experience, so I assume in many teachers experiences, I attended professional development that absolutely had no connection to what I did or needed in my classroom.
2) Professional development should include collaboration with others, reflection, and active learning. Just like students, we need to be hands-on, try it out, talk about what worked and what didn't, and relate to our own understandings.
3) Professional development should be long-term and supported by the schools leaders and the schools overall mission and goals.
There is of course a lot more, but these three components are pretty consistently stated throughout.
Okay, back to it. But...let me pass on an blog posting of Tom Schimmer I just read during this 'brain break' that seems connected to these components - always happy to pass on good ideas of others: Implement That! (Part 1)