Exploring what makes great PD

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creating a culture for school improvement

Shawn Edmondson

Recent Posts

Positive Deviance inquiry: the secret to school success

Posted by Shawn Edmondson on 11/8/18 2:00 PM

How did all of the students of 3rd grade teacher Mary Dunbar Barksdale in Brazosport, Texas achieve remarkably high scores on the statewide test, despite the fact that 94% of her students lived in poverty?

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How to achieve transformational leadership with video coaching

Posted by Shawn Edmondson on 3/6/17 3:00 PM

Of all the school factors related to student achievement, the one that has the greatest impact is teaching quality.

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The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): 5 implications for professional development

Posted by Shawn Edmondson on 2/23/17 3:23 PM

In December, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law, replacing the unpopular No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

ESSA takes full effect in the 2017-2018 school year and is one of the most important pieces of education legislation in recent history. However, with more than 1,000 pages outlining new programs, rules, and, funding allocations, it’s a lot of information for busy educators to digest. In fact, a recent survey by the NWEA and Gallup found that only 55% of superintendents and 41% of principals are familiar with ESSA.

To make sense of it all, we’ve identified five of the most significant implications for teacher professional development.

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The impact of teacher coaching on instruction and student achievement

Posted by Shawn Edmondson on 2/23/17 2:58 PM


New research confirms teacher coaching is a powerful tool for teaching and learning

Researchers and educators have emphasized the importance of teacher coaching for decades, describing it as an essential component of effective professional development. As a result, school districts across the country have developed coaching programs that are supported by a wide range of federal programs and policies.

However, until recently, there have been relatively few causal studies demonstrating the impact of teacher coaching on instruction achievement.

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Think Your Teacher Professional Development is Effective? Prove it.

Posted by Shawn Edmondson on 2/23/17 2:56 PM

A study of teacher professional development (PD) was released in 2016 by The New Teacher Project. They followed three large school districts for two years by surveying more than 10,000 teachers and 500 school leaders. They learned some interesting things:

  • A shocking amount is spent on PD – On average, these three districts spent $18,000 per teacher, per year. At this rate, the top 50 school districts in the US spend $8 billion on teacher PD annually! 
  • Despite this massive expenditure, most of the  teachers in these districts don’t improve year to year - even though many of them lack fundamental skills. A few did improve, but the they couldn’t attribute improvement to any PD experiences.
  • The study concluded that most of the PD that these districts provide isn’t effective because it doesn’t provide teachers with the kind of information that they need to improve their teaching.

 Portrait happy beautiful woman thinking looking up isolated grey wall background with copy space. Human face expressions, emotions, feelings, body language, perception

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Jim Knight: the 5 components of a trusting coaching relationship

Posted by Shawn Edmondson on 2/23/17 2:55 PM

In the second of our five-part interview series with Jim Knight, Jim discusses how video can unlock the truth about your teaching. He identifies the five essential components for building a trusting coaching relationship and the key features of a video platform for building trust.

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10 things that make online professional learning communities effective

Posted by Shawn Edmondson on 11/14/16 3:08 PM

A report published by the Institute of Education Sciences reviewed the research literature on online and hybrid professional learning communities (PLCs). The author found that, although they present some unique challenges, online communities of educators can achieve the goals of traditional PLCs.

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#ObserveMe: No Teacher is an Island

Posted by Shawn Edmondson on 11/2/16 4:22 PM

Teachers around the world are joining a rapidly growing movement: observing each other to provide constructive feedback.

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