Like teacher education, professional development for teachers is now recognised as a vital component of policies to enhance the quality of teaching and learning in schools. Consequently, there is increased interest in research that identifies features of effective professional learning. Considerable funds are allocated to a wide variety of professional development programs from a variety of sources. As investment increases, policy makers are increasingly asking for evidence about its effects not only on classroom practice, but also on student learning outcomes. They are also looking for research that can guide them in designing programs that are more likely to lead to significant and sustained improvement in students' opportunities to learn.
There is a need, therefore, for more sophisticated methods for evaluating professional development programs, with the capacity to meet these information needs. In the not too distant past, when many professional development courses placed teachers in the role of an audience, questionnaires distributed at the door as teachers left sufficed. Strategies for professional development have now become much more complex, long term and embedded in schools. Major funds may be allocated, for example, to training school-based staff developers and providing them with time release, developing curriculum support materials, and on-line learning.
Submissions from 2005
Getting professional development right, Lawrence Ingvarson
Factors affecting the impact of professional development programs on teachers' knowledge, practice, student outcomes & efficacy, Lawrence Ingvarson, Marion Meiers, and Adrian Beavis
Investigating the links between teacher professional development and student learning outcomes, Marion Meiers and Lawrence Ingvarson
Submissions from 2003
Building a learning profession, Lawrence Ingvarson
Quality of Professional Learning Index: Measure of Outcomes of Professional Development, Lawrence C. Ingvarson
Evaluating the quality and impact of professional development programs, Lawrence Ingvarson, Marion Meiers, and Adrian Beavis