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ERIC Number: ED344333
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Curriculum Improvement Should Drive Staff Development.
Clarke, Robert; Snow, Gordon
Staff development is rapidly becoming more visible and more expensive. School boards and the voting public are becoming aware of the increasing costs and are demanding to know how effectively the money is being spent. It will become increasingly difficult, even job-threatening, for superintendents who guide ineffective staff development programs. Superintendents, boards, and other responsible school officials are growing dissatisfied with staff development programs generated by questionnaires that ask teachers and administrators what they need to do to improve. Generally, this process lacks focus and is unrelated to curriculum or curriculum improvement. "Collegially" oriented initiatives either fail to address the more basic question of school culture or vastly underestimate what is involved in implementing change. Contrived collegiality (through peer coaching, mentor teaching, and joint planning) can force unwanted contacts between teachers and intensify teacher isolation. This paper argues that the most effective needs assessment for staff development is a comprehensive curriculum study that considers whether dropout rates, attendance, suspensions, academic achievement, planning, parent involvement, and curriculum effectiveness need further investigation and/or improvement. Since curriculum is the most important school mission, money spent to improve curriculum by improving staff skills is an effective use of resources. (9 references) (MLH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Isolation (Professional)