“The critique of standard-issue staff development is quite-damning, and it is not new. Dennis Sparks, the president of the National Staff Development Council, has been calling for serious changes for years, deerying the fact that, “only a small portion of what is known about quality staff development is regularly used in schools”…
For sometime now, Bruce Joyce and his colleagues have been saying that typical staff development “probably will not generate the amount of change necessary to affect student achievement”. Instead they advocate along with Sparks, Fullan and others---the creation of the kind of “Communities of teachers” who engage in focused, recurring cycles of instruction, assessment, and adjustment of instruction”.(Joyce and Showers 2002) “Research emphasizes that coaching is a prerequisite for the implementation of new skills strategy”( Showers, Joyce and Bennett 1987). Leaders must be aware that the provision of ongoing support is crucial to the successful attainment of an innovation. Therefore, one of the first staff development initiatives to be offered to teachers in the classroom, is peer coaching. For staff development expert Thomas Guskey, the promise of professional development has gone “largely unfulfilled”. The solution in staff development is build around “collaborative exchange”, in which “teachers work together, reflect on their practice, exchange ideas, and share strategies”(Guskey 2003) Richard Stiggins writes that 2 “assessment literacy”, is so integral to the ongoing improvement of instruction in “learning teams” “Work shops”, he says “will not work”, they “do not” permit the application of and experimentation with new assessment ideas in real classrooms, and sharing that experience with other colleagues in a team effort”(Stiggins 1999). ...
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