One indicator of Professional Development and Program Evaluation is:
c. Evaluate results of professional learning programs to determine the effectiveness on deepening teacher content knowledge, improving teacher pedagogical skills and/or increasing student learning.
In this graduate program, I completed a program evaluation in my school district to evaluate the effectiveness of the new Studio Professional Development Model format that was used in the school year, 2016-2017. The project taught me some news skills as I chose to use focus group method of gathering feedback, something I had not done before, rather than surveys (my “go to” form of evaluation). I learned the importance of drafting quality open-ended questions and collaborating about them with subject area experts. I learned how to preface the focus group to foster trust and maintain confidentiality. I also learned that the perceived effectiveness of professional development really varies from individual to individual and that years of experience do not correlate to this. The most valuable new learning was that teachers really value their voice being heard and they are most eager and willing to share ideas that would make professional development better than to make complaints about it.
In fact, this program evaluation project caused me to write this post, What is Essential in Professional Development? This post is important because it speaks to my ability to see each teacher as adult learners, but also individuals with diverse needs. It also reveals my new interest that this project sparked – professional developer moves. I’m reading further about these moves in my professional reading, Train Smart that is referenced in indicator 6b.