ERIC Number: ED464112
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Apr
Linking Professional Development to Improvements in Student Learning.
Guskey, Thomas R.; Sparks, Dennis
This paper describes a theoretical model of the multidimensional relationship between professional development activities for educators and improvements in student learning. It also examines the validity and appropriateness of the model through five in-depth case studies of school-based professional development programs. The model presented extends the work of current researchers and is more comprehensive than other recent models. The premise of the model is that the quality of professional development is influenced by many factors, with the most important being grouped into three categories: content characteristics, process variables, and context characteristics. Quality of professional development, the central component of the model, is linked to teachers' knowledge and practices, administrators' knowledge and practices, and parents' knowledge and practices. Student learning outcomes result from these interactions. The case studies used to test the model came from the National Staff Development Councils Model School Program. Three implications are drawn from the model. First, the model shows that the relationship between professional development and improvements in student learning is complex but not chaotic or random. Second, the model offers guidance to those interested in determining what makes professional development effective. Third, the model illustrates the importance of a systemic approach to professional development and the need to view professional development reform from a systems perspective. (Contains 1 figure and 23 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 1-5, 2002).