Common Core State Standards & the Transformation of Professional Development: The New Essential Elements of Professional Learning
Education First has prepared a series of briefs called Common Core State Standards & the Transformation of Professional Development to help policymakers and educators understand the professional development teachers need that meets a high bar for quality and impact called for by the new standards. The goals of the series are to clearly define the specific supports and learning opportunities educators need, to illustrate how to deliver professional development opportunities at scale and at depth, and to translate conclusions of policy changes that state and local leaders should consider. The series begins with an Executive Summary. This brief (Brief no. 1) describes the essential elements of effective professional learning. It summarizes findings from research and interviews with leading educators about professional development innovations and “new, non-negotiable learning opportunities all teachers consistently need to help them succeed with the new demands of the Common Core” (p. 4).
This first brief sets the stage for the next two in this series on professional development and the Common Core. It describes the research base on effective professional development and gives examples of innovative districts implementing Common Core-aligned professional development. Additionally, the brief shows how the Common Core standards differ from past standards (and includes some concrete examples from the Common Core), which necessitates changes in teaching and instruction. The brief contains several helpful links to curricular resources supporting Common-Core aligned professional development, as well as links to all the briefs in the series. Educators who create or provide professional development for teachers should find this resource useful because it explains findings from existing research on effective characteristics of professional development. Teachers may also find this resource helpful; it can give them insights about participation in high-quality professional development.