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professional development for standards-based schools

Generally speaking, professional development is considered to be the primary mechanism that schools can use to help teachers continuously learn and improve their skills over time. And in recent decades, the topic has been extensively researched and many strategies and initiatives have been developed to improve the quality and effectiveness of professional development for educators. While theories about professional development abound, a degree of consensus has emerged on some of the major features of effective professional development. For example, one-day workshops or conferences that are not directly connected to a school’s academic program, or to what teachers are teaching, are generally considered to be less effective than training and learning opportunities that are sustained over longer periods of time and directly connected to what schools and teachers are actually doing on a daily basis. Terms and phases such as sustainedintensiveongoingcomprehensivealignedcollaborativecontinuoussystemic, or capacity-building, as well as relevant to teacher work and connected to student learning, are often used in reference to professional development that is considered to be of higher quality. That said, there are a wide variety of theories about what kinds of professional development are most effective, as well as divergent research findings.