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Professional development, reflection, and decision-making.


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 school leaders may encounter a variety of challenges when selecting and providing professional development opportunities. For example, one common obstacle is finding adequate time during the school day for teachers to participate in professional development. Securing sufficient funding is another common complication, particularly during times when school budgets are tight or being cut. The amount of funding allocated for professional development by states, districts, and schools may also vary widely—some schools could have access to more professional-development funding than they can reasonably use in a given year, while other schools and teachers may be expected to fund most or all of their professional development on their own. Other common challenges include insufficient support for professional development from the administrative leadership, a lack of faculty interest or motivation, or overburdened teacher workloads.