Reviewing Professional Development

“Professional development” as a catch-all for staff training has a degree of uncertainty associated which clouds our ability to critically discuss and reflect on programming.

The initial portion of my research required reviewing all professional development I was responsible for in the 2017-2018 school year. The finidings of this initial review are presented below.

You can read the full project proposal, which includes data analysis, for more detail.

Watch for interactive components!

Aileen Kennedy's (2005) survey of professional development models was used to classify each of our workshops. Here is how I defined each category based on Kennedy's spectrum:

Class Description
  • Skill based
  • Trainer/attendee dynamic
  • Set goals for participants
  • Information transfer
  • Open-ended
  • Cross-curricular/grade-level
  • Participants are active in forming knowledge
  • One-on-one/small group
  • Specific goals from the teacher
  • Focus on synthesis of skills into practice

Type of PD

The majority of professional development offered in 2017-2018 is classified as training. We believe this led to low implementation by teachers.

Workshops were classified on the scale defined by Kennedy (2005)


According to feedback, teachers valued the training they received.

There was no strong correlation between any two domains evaluated after the workshop.

(Hover each ring for descriptions.)

Expectations: inner Engagement: middle Communication: outer


Even with high value reported, fewer than 10% of attendees reported implementation of ideas in the classroom. By aligning new professional developemnt to higher-impact structures, we expect implementation of ideas to increase (Kennedy, 2005).

Creating transformative professional development means allowing groups to question systems, culture, and the status quo. Collaborative efforts are driven by finding innovative solutions to local problems of practice (Hargreaves & Dawe, 1990).


April 2019

Review old PD, design new PD to fit on higher spectra.

Summer 2019

Redesign feedback and implementation surveys. Begin identifying cohorts of teachers to participate in new coaching programs.

Data collection

Success of the program will be evaluated on:

Teacher satisfaction of professional development

Reported implementation of learning increasing


Burbank, M. D., & Kauchak, D. (2003). An alternative model for professional development: Investigations into effective collaboration. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19(5), 499-514. doi:10.1016/S0742-051X(03)00048-9

Darling-Hammond, Linda, and Milbrey W. McLaughlin. "Policies that support professional development in an era of reform." Phi Delta Kappan, Apr. 1995, p. 597+. Biography In Context, Accessed 5 Mar. 2019.

Hargreaves, A., & Dawe, R. (1990). Paths of professional development: Contrived collegiality, collaborative culture, and the case of peer coaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 6(3), 227-241.

Kennedy, A. (2005). Models of continuing professional development: A framework for analysis. Journal of in-service education, 31(2), 235-250.