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Here’s my four-part Ed Week series on the topic.

Even though we’ve been very lucky at our school to have great professional development, there have been times that I’ve had to attend absolutely terrible District-sponsored sessions. Unfortunately, terrible sessions are a common experience that many teachers share.

I thought I’d bring together a few potentially useful resources on the topic (including links to a number of related resources I’ve previously published) and invite readers to contribute more in the comments section (you might also be interested in The Best Places For ESL/EFL/ELL Teachers To Get Online Professional Development).  You might also be interested in: The Best Ways ESL/EFL/ELL Teachers Can Develop Personal Learning Networks and The Best Places For ESL/EFL/ELL Teachers To Get Online Professional Development:

I’ve got to start off with the recent infamous video clip from a Chicago Schools professional development session that I titled “Though It Seems Like A Parody, It’s A Real Professional Development Event.” I’ll reprint the entire post:

Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teachers Union, sent this out:


Here is the video’s description:

This presenter was one of several consultants flown in from California and the United Kingdom for the Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Strategic School Support Services’ special network. This is a professional development for teachers of Saturday ISAT preparation classes.

Yes, you can make a lot of things look bad taken out of context, but I don’t think a case can be made that this is appropriate for any professional development, or classroom, context….

Why most professional development for teachers is useless is an excellent piece by Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post.  She picked-up on my original post about the video, and followed-up with this one.

What Professional Development Should Be is by Nancy Flanagan.

Your Best Training Session Ever is by Daniel Coyle.

Lesson Study is an excellent post at Class Teaching about that well-known form of professional development in Japan.

Here are some of my previous posts related to professional development:

The Best Places For ESL/EFL/ELL Teachers To Get Online Professional Development

The Best Resources On “Instructional Coaching”

Great Story About Professional Development

“Professional Development in Action: Improving Teaching for English Learners”

Gates Foundation Makes Its Move In California — And It Looks Like Somebody Is Giving Them Good Advice

‘If only American teachers were smarter…’ is from The Washington Post.

What Would Better Professional Development Look Like? is a conversation between Michelle Rhee and Jack Schneider in Ed Week.

Rethinking Classroom Observation by Emily Dolci Grimm, Trent Kaufman and Dave Doty is excellent.

Research Says / Keep Professional Learning Groups Small, But Connected is by Bryan Goodwin (who always writes great stuff).

10 Tips for Delivering Awesome Professional Development is by Elena Aguilar at Edutopia.

Déjà vu in American education: The woeful state of professional development is by Barnett Berry.

How to Read Professional Development Books: 7 Tactics You Might Not Be Using is from Teaching The Core.

If teachers know best about professional learning… let’s follow their lead. is by Barnett Berry.

Developing Great Teaching: Lessons from the international reviews into effective professional development is a new important report from the UK.

We Always Want To Get Better is a report on teacher professional development.

Stop The Presses! Report Finds Most Professional Development Waste Of Time

Teachers as learners and leaders: To dos for American decision makers is by Barnett Berry.

Teaching Teachers is from American Radio Works.

Q & A Collections: Professional Development is the headline of my latest post at Education Week Teacher.

It includes links to all my posts on professional development issues from the past four years – in one place!

It’s Time to Restructure Teacher Professional Development appeared in Ed Week.

What We Learned and What Administrators Can Do is from Renee Moore.

‘It Comes Down to Listening’: Steven Dunlap on Teacher Choice in Professional Development is from Ed Surge.

Professional non-development: Do teacher development programs work? is from Brookings.

New Reports on Teacher Professional Development Kick Off U.S. Policy Debate on System Reform is from Ed Week.

Who’s the Best Deliverer of Teacher PD? Report Says Teachers Still Lack Input is from Education Week.

Evaluating CPD: hard but not impossible is from Must Do Better…

Using Japanese ‘Lesson Study’ to Increase Collaboration among Teachers is from Ed Week.

Lesson Study: When Teachers Team Up to Improve Teaching is from MindShift.

Having Other Teachers’ Eyes Means Also Having Their Ideas is from NPR.

No Panacea: Diagnosing What Ails Teacher Professional Development Before Reaching for Remedies is a report from New America.

Five Ways to Increase Teacher Agency in Professional Development is from Edutopia.

5 Things Teachers Want from PD, and How Coaching and Collaboration Can Deliver Them—If Implementation Improves is from Ed Surge.

Professional Development: Are You Content With the Scenario? is by Peter DeWitt at Ed Week.

Q & A Collections: Professional Development is the headline of my latest Education Week Teacher column. It includes links to all the Ed Week posts on professional development that I’ve published over the last five years – in one place!


Teachers’ training needs improvement so students benefit, new report says is from Ed Source.

Effective Teacher Professional Development is from The Learning Policy Institute.

What Modern Language teachers like and dislike about professional development events is from Gianfranco Conti.

How Does Professional Development Improve Teaching? seems like a pretty important paper.

Guest Post: Professional Development in Education – Involving Everyone

10 techniques for teacher training sessions is from ETpedia.

Using “Common Planning Time” Effectively In Schools

24 Tips for Leading Better Professional Development is from Dave Stuart, Jr.


Stay Sharp This Summer with Free PD Resources is by Curtis Chandler at Middleweb.

Lead Smarter, Not Harder Tip #8: Understand the Reasons for Resistance in Your Building. is from The Tempered Radical.


Again, please feel free to contribute additional resources in the comments section!