Professional Development

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Note from the editor

Dear readers,

The disruption of public education over the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic created numerous hurdles for educators, students and families while also bringing attention to many longstanding concerns. Case in point: The emergency shift to remote learning in districts nationwide required many educators to be trained to deliver lessons via a virtual model they had no prior preparation or experience for — and that training had to be delivered via similar means.

While it had been widely recognized in K-12 that traditional "sit-and-get" approaches to professional development are just as much in need of overhaul as the same approaches for students  and many districts had already taken advantage of alternative approaches like targeted and individualized virtual opportunities and microcredentials — rethinking a both teacher training and classroom learning at the same time was a Herculean task for most.

Still, many rose to the occasion. And for as much as there was that changed due to the pandemic, some things still remain the same.

Personalized learning experiences aligned to individual teachers' goals are still ultimately a goal for many administrators, and training on innovative learning models, new classroom technology, alternative approaches to discipline, teacher leadership and more are still top of mind. And efforts to facilitate these opportunities in informal settings, rather than a conference or strictly defined program, now have more robust infrastructure in place to support them.

And while challenges remain, exploring and embracing those avenues to meet a school or district's goals can be well worth the investment when it comes to creating innovative learning environments that can more readily scale and adadpt to best prepare students for the future. To help keep you in the loop, K-12 Dive will keep this page up to date with new professional development trends and updates throughout the year. Here are some recent highlights from our coverage.


Roger Riddell Editor

Playbook offers strategies for recruiting, retaining diverse teaching workforce

• Published May 13, 2021

What makes a high-quality professional development program?

• Published May 11, 2021

Lessons In Leadership: How a suburban Chicago district went 'all-in' with teacher training

Superintendent Ken Wallace credits strong student achievement and educator retention to a model that prioritizes experimentation, coaching and teacher leadership.

• Published Feb. 23, 2021

Report: High-quality principals result in nearly 3 months additional learning annually

• Published Feb. 17, 2021

Promising Practices: How a network of male teachers of color expanded leadership opportunities

The Compton Male Teachers of Color Network is helping its district strengthen professional problem-solving skills and empower educators.

• Published Feb. 4, 2021

4 K-12 professional development trends to watch in 2021

Even when schools return to "normal," changes forced by the COVID-19 pandemic will benefit professional learning in several ways.

• Published Jan. 28, 2021

Effective online teacher training grows, but in-person supports still needed

• Published Jan. 13, 2021

Groups recommend 5 strategies to reform early ed professional development

• Published Jan. 7, 2021

Inside the Rapidly Changing World of Professional Development

Just as the one-size-fits-all "industrial" model of K-12 public education is no longer enough to prepare students for the modern workforce, the collective, workshop model of professional development is no longer the predominant way to support educators’ professional learning. Personalized learning experiences aren't just a goal for the classroom anymore — they're highly sought out for PD over traditional sit-and-get seminars.

included in this trendline
  • New certification recognizes strong early-childhood stem programs
  • NYC teacher leadership program touted as international model
  • 3 approaches that are transforming professional development
Our Trendlines go deep on the biggest trends. These special reports, produced by our team of award-winning journalists, help business leaders understand how their industries are changing.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.