Ensuring Professional Development Meets Standards
- Policymakers and education leaders should evaluate their current teacher professional development systems for alignment with international standards.
Professional Development Planning and Delivery
- Make benchmarking to international standards a statewide priority.
- Provide high-quality technical assistance to schools and districts based on statewide best practices.
- Coordinate existing professional development that fills the gaps identified in the individualized professional development plans and that addresses alignment to international standards.
- Design and provide professional development to “re-tool” existing educators in content and instructional delivery, especially in gap areas.
- Use the professional development standards by the National Staff Development Council (see Additional Resources).
- Establish a public-private partnership to develop, pilot and implement a statewide academy to enhance the knowledge, skills and leadership of school and district administrators.
Professional Development Content
- Design, provide and require professional development for educators to ensure they understand how to align standards, instruction and assessments to international standards.
- Engage in a statewide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiative to strengthen instruction and raise academic achievement.
- Develop and/or provide professional development for teachers to learn how to use academic content aligned to international standards to teach the seven “survival skills:” (1)
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Collaboration and leadership
- Agility and adaptability
- Initiative and entrepreneurialism
- Effective oral and written communication
- Accessing and analyzing information
- Curiosity and imagination.
- Develop and/or provide professional development for teachers and administrators on differentiated instruction.
- Support the dissemination of resources, such as the work of Carol Ann Tomlinson, a former elementary teacher, Teacher of the Year, and current education professor at the University of Virginia, who is considered a leading expert in the field of differentiated learning. For more information on Carol Tomlinson’s work, see the Additional Resources at the end of this section.
- Ensure district and school standards are aligned to international standards.
- Ensure that licensed teachers are competent enough in their academic subject areas to handle world-class-level content expectations, and that they demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to teach to international standards.
- Use formative assessments, differentiate instruction and target individual student needs.
- Ensure elementary teachers are thoroughly prepared enough in math, science and English to successfully handle the deeper concepts that are required internationally.
Create a coordinated system of preservice and inservice strategies and practices.
- Tony Wagner, “Rigor Redefined,” Educational Leadership, 1-3 (Harvard Graduate School of Education), October 2008,