Professional development is the process of improving the knowledge and skills of educators to enhance student learning outcomes. Schools and educators should prioritise this and see it as a continuous process that keeps educators updated with new information and strategies to implement in the classroom to improve student learning. The connection between professional development and student learning is significant. Read on to find out more.
So how does teachers’ professional development relate to student learning?
Educators are able to improve their knowledge and skills, which, in turn, improves the quality of instruction in the classroom. They can stay current with new teaching strategies, technology, and teaching methods to better support student learning. These training programmes also create a space for them to share their experiences and challenges with other educators, and receive feedback and support. The result is a better understanding of students' learning needs and an improvement in student achievement.
The proof is in the pudding
Research has shown that professional development has a significant impact on student achievement. A study conducted by the National Staff Development Council found that schools that invest in professional development programmes experience a 21% increase in student achievement. The research also found that the quality of professional development programs influences its impact on student achievement. Effective professional development programs provide opportunities for teachers to practice new skills, receive feedback, and receive support for implementation.
Studies by the Institute of Education Sciences also revealed the same result - professional development has a positive impact on student achievement. Professional development programmes that focused on content knowledge and instructional strategies had the greatest impact on student achievement. The review also found that effective professional development programmes focused on ongoing support, collaborative learning, and individualised coaching.
In Singapore, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has implemented a professional development programme - ICT Professional Development (ICT-PD) - to support the integration of technology into teaching and learning. It aims to equip educators with the knowledge and skills to leverage technology in the classroom to enhance student learning.
ICT-PD consists of three main components: training, coaching, and sharing. The training component provides educators with foundational knowledge and skills to integrate technology into their teaching. The coaching component provides personalised support to educators to help them apply their learning in the classroom. The sharing component provides opportunities for educators to share their experiences and best practices with other educators.
A study conducted by the MOE found that students in schools that had implemented the ICT-PD programme scored higher on a standardised assessment of technology skills than students in schools that had not implemented the programme. Additionally, a survey of teachers who had participated in the programme found that they felt more confident in their ability to integrate technology into their teaching and that they saw improvements in student engagement and motivation as a result.
By providing educators with the knowledge and skills to effectively use technology in the classroom, professional development programs like ICT-PD can improve student learning outcomes and prepare students for the demands of the 21st century.
Professional development is essential in education to improve student learning outcomes. Professional development provides educators with the knowledge and skills to implement new teaching strategies and methods, which, in turn, improves the quality of instruction in the classroom. With the success stories shared in mind, if you’d like to learn more about how to better equip educators with professional development programmes, reach us at LittleLives to find out more about LittleAcademy!