Schools and districts will determine if the professional development for teachers, administrators and other school staff meets the following definition and standards for high quality professional development.
All standards need to be applied in the context of the audience for professional development (PD) to qualify as high quality PD. The Department of Education recognizes that the extent to which professional development meets each standard may vary.
704 KAR 3:035 – Section 1(1
) "High-quality professional development" means those experiences that systematically, over a sustained period of time, enable educators to facilitate the learning of students by acquiring and applying knowledge, understanding, skills, and abilities that address the instructional improvement goals of the school district, the individual school, or the individual professional growth needs of the educator.
Section 4(2) High-quality professional development experiences shall be related to teachers' instructional assignments and administrators' professional responsibilities. Experiences shall support the local school's instructional improvement goals and be aligned with the school or district improvement plan or individual professional growth plans of teachers.
Kentucky Department of Education Professional Development Standards
Professional Development is aligned with:
- Local school and district goals and priorities as reflected in the school or district improvement plan or individual professional growth plans;
- Kentucky’s Standards and Indicators for School Improvement; and
- Kentucky New or Experienced Teacher Standards or Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards, or other professional/job standards.
Professional Development is a continuous process of learning through consciously constructed relevant job-embedded experiences so that professional development experiences and professional learning are integrated in the day-to-day work of teachers, administrators, and others to support improved practices, effectiveness and the application of skills, processes, and content. (e.g., action research, study groups, online learning, collegial professional learning networks, peer collaboration, peer coaching, mentoring, formal and informal peer observations, coaching, instructional demonstrations, collegial feedback, personal reflection, team planning, collaborative-problem solving, analysis of student work, self directed learning).
- PD is sustained, intensive, classroom-focused and is on in order to have a positive and lasting impact on classroom instruction, the teacher’s performance in the classroom, and increased student performance; and
- PD is not one-day or short-term workshops or conferences unless they are a component of an intentionally designed comprehensive professional development plan based on teacher needs and student needs.
Professional Development focuses on the knowledge and skills teachers, principals, administrators, and other school and district staff are to know and to do in support of student learning and students’ well being. Professional development is based on what students need to know and be able to do in order to meet Kentucky’s challenging content standards and student performance standards. Student content, performance and opportunity to learn standards are the core of professional development.
- National standards (e.g., content, leadership, teacher, safety, transportation, nutrition, health)
- Kentucky Learning Goals
- Academic Expectations
- Program of Studies
- Core Content for Assessment
- Performance Standards/ Student Performance Level Descriptions (PLD)
- Kentucky Early Childhood Standards
- Technology Standards
- Character Education
- District/school aligned curriculum
Professional Development actively engages teachers, principals, administrators, and others in learning experiences that advance their understanding and application of research based instructional practices and skills that reduce barriers to learning, close achievement gaps, and improve student performance (e.g., inquiry-based learning, investigation, work backwards, act out the problem, make a drawing or diagram, employ guess and check, make a model, jigsaw, self monitoring strategy, simulations, formulating a model, invention, questioning, wait time, restate in own words, break into smaller steps, goal setting, experimentation, debate, reciprocal teaching, writing process, story maps, structured note taking, think aloud, round robin, pairs check, inside-outside circle, manipulatives, data collection tools, time lines, picture clues, sequence chains, compare/contract matrix, concept mapping, Venn diagrams, advanced organizers, checklists, community based instruction, bus safety, and safe physical management).
Professional Development prepares teachers, administrators, school council members and others in the school community as instructional leaders and collaborative partners in improving student performance (e.g., instructional leadership, organizational direction, collaborative decision making, analysis and use of data, planning, community partnerships, and creating a learning culture).
Professional Development is data and results driven focused on increasing teachers, administrators, and others’ effectiveness in improving student performance and is continuously evaluated to improve the quality and impact of professional development.
Professional Development fosters an effective ongoing learning community that supports a culture and climate conducive to performance excellence.
Professional Development is culturally responsive and facilitates removing barriers to learning in an effort to meet each student’s needs (e.g., intellectual, social, career, cultural, and developmental).
Professional Development is planned collaboratively (e.g., teachers and principals) and organized to maximize the collaborative use of all available resources to support high student and staff performance (e.g., planning, time, release time, staff, technology, funding sources).
Professional Development fosters a comprehensive, long-range change process that communicates clear purpose, direction, and strategies to support teaching and learning.
Professional development is grounded in the critical attributes of adult pedagogy (e.g., connections to work, reflective practice, guided practice, feedback, multiple intelligences, learning styles, choice, time for processing and integrating and applying information, implementation in job setting, analysis and follow-up of results, brain research, peer interaction, peer review, peer observations, mentoring, personal and active inquiry, investigations, self-reflection, and collegial networks).