Hi Janice , Your title differentiated professional development caught my interest as I also think that professional development course should start looking at this dimension.
Right now we are also training teachers in a "one size fits all" approach but the pace and the style of learning for every individual differs , which we all agree upon. But when it comes to training for adults then the concept of training is done in a participative method focussing more on the group . There are also less measure for remediation in training or follow up or monitoring progress , I think over a period of time if we want competencies to be built in individual teachers than training should be customised to meet the needs of the trainee .
Janice- great question - one that I think that many districts are working through. What I have started seeing is not an opt out method but more options and choices that are teacher driven. All teachers are participating in PD but during the course of the day they have choices of what they want/need to explore. I would love to hear how other community members schedule and handle differentiated professional development.
What would you do to address the teacher who feels they don't need PD and opt out all year long?
Hi Julia .As if now we have not started an individualised PD according to their choices at the School Level. However it would be the initiative of any teachers to do PD online/offline according to their needs . PD through Inservice training is generalised for all . Except in ICT where we have categorised as Beginners level. Intermediate and Advanced group
You bring two interesting questions to the discussion:
- My state offers online PD. While there is no cost associated with the courses, participants must devote their own time to the learning. In addition, anyone wishing for College credit must pay the appropriate tuition. From my experience, many of these classes quickly fill within days of opening enrollment.
- I've met several teachers who feel they are "beyond" the need for PD. At the school level, our principal helps show the need for PD. During faculty meetings, he calls on specific individuals to describe the most recent PD they attended. He continues the conversation by asking how it is impacting their classroom and student learning. One "no PD for me" teacher just mentioned that he is registered and attending his subject's annual conference to see if there is something that might "make my students enjoy class more." I think this demonstrates how being the example can make a difference.
I am interested in other methods that help the reluctant teacher obtain PD. There are a few more at my school who still have not seen the light .
Differentiated professional development (DPD) is a concept we thought about last year and actually put it into practice this year. Most of last year we talked about what DPD would look like in our school and this year we worked to create a model. All the PD is online and the teachers have access to it several days prior to "Wired Wednesday", our PD day. Teachers are instructed to email the ITF one day prior to the PD delivery date, if they want to demonstrate mastery. The ITF evaluates the work or assigned task to determine mastery. Often it is your high flyers that opt to demonstrate mastery, so once they do, The ITF uses those teachers to lead PD or become a tech buddy to teachers who are less tech savvy. The culture that we are creating in our school serves several purposes: 1. Growing teacher leaders; 2. Creating tech mentors; 3. Teacher collaboration. We have a lot of work to do; however, I think it is a good first step.
It captured my interest , because currently I'm working on a research paper about differentiated instruction. In this strategy, it is a must that activities and strategies that will be employed inside the classroom, should be tailored with the learning profile of the students. In this strategy, two or more strategies are being used to make learning meaningful
A simple differentiation method during teacher pd days is to have more than one trainer present on the same content.
Have those trainers prepare either a beginner, advanced, or work time only with "trainer assistance" sessions.
Ask participants to divide themselves based on their confidence with the topic, then assign them to those different trainer's sessions.
They can divide themselves ahead of time via email, or simply put them all in the room and use the corners in the room for them to sort out what level they want.
Professional development should also align with the results of the individual teacher's students' achievement report. Although not always true in some cases, the teacher's area which is in need of further enhancement is reflected on the student's achievement outcomes. To achieve the goal of differentiated instruction, an assessment of the teacher's capacity on all levels of the subject area the teacher handles should be the compass point of the teacher's professional development track.
Since I am working in the field of Professional Development through In Service Training , Differentiated Professional Development certainly needs to be called upon.
My rational lies in the fact that at the first level of professional development we have programmes to address general issues and concerns whether it is subject related / technology related etc, however during the pace of training I find that "One Size doesnot fit All".Therefore the Teachers who are not able to keep pace in a specifies number of hours sessions would like to have another session . The feedback and comments of such participants emerge as _ " Should be given more time." There should be more training session."etc
I also like to draw the anology that if for Teaching and learning in Schools - " One size doesnot fit all than how can we consider that all teachers need to undergo the same training at the same pace ." Inarguably questionable ? As Doug has suggested , I recommend the strategies to begin with a self Analysis by the teacher to identify ones - Strength and weaknesses.