The Common Core Learning Standards focus on teaching critical thinking and problem-solving. For this work, teachers will need to think in new ways and employ new practices.
This presents us with both an opportunity and a challenge: we have the opportunity to explore professional learning models intended to help teachers make shifts in classroom practice that will lead to improved student outcomes, and the challenge of developing professional leanring experiences that are effective and engaging for all teachers. In the past, while 90 percent of teachers report participating in professional development, most of them also believed it was not helpful.
With all the complex challenges facing schools today, the need for teachers to build on their instructional knowledge and teaching practice is more important than ever. It is time to engage in professional learning - an authentic process which all stakeholders in an educational system engage in often to become smarter and more capable in doing our work. This concept of professional learning is an opportunity for continuous learning. Planning for and integrating all the components is a challenge, but it results in skilled and knowledgeable teachers and students who learn more.
The DOE supports this work through selecting and developing professional learning resources such as the Handbook for Professional Learning, offering innovating instructional programs, and evaluating professional learning in order to ensure that the opportunities provided meet the needs of the field and foster student learning in schools.
Resources for Educators