In the 2018 Independent School Executive Forum’s Executive Roundtable series, Building and Sustaining a Competitive Advantage, researchers shared best practice strategies in areas of enrollment management and faculty professional development.
This resource center is designed to take the insights and best practices from our research on faculty professional development, Keeping Faculty on the Leading Edge, and translate them into actionable change on your campus. Each tool or resource supports the implementation of a particular strategy, with the goal of helping schools create a robust system of professional development.
Professional development at independent schools has traditionally centered on conference attendance, in-service days and other on-campus workshops, and continuing education.
These activities are often selected based on personal interest or current education hot topics, with little grounding in an individual teacher’s opportunities for improvement or alignment to school-wide goals or priority areas. These activities also suffer from lack of follow-up, leaving teachers without much in the way of implementation support. But perhaps most problematically, professional development is rarely designed to help teachers attain an articulated standard of teaching excellence, in no small part because no such articulation exists. As a result, schools are beginning to recognize that their significant investment in professional development is not necessarily yielding impactful results.
Over the course of our research on professional development, we identified four opportunities for schools to improve their approach to professional development in order to elevate the level of teaching excellence across the school.