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StaffRobert HeinyProfessional Development Not Adequate

Professional Development Not Adequate

Heather C. Hill reported recently that the “professional development “system” is broken. It relies on short-term, episodic, and disconnected professional learning for teachers—the kinds of training programs that are unlikely to positively influence teaching and improve student achievement.

Perhaps the most damning indictment of PD [professional development] is that even teachers themselves regard it with contempt,” writes Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute.

Both of these critiques miss a vital point with their hermeneutics. Professional development has not existed as a system. It is at best a random collection of efforts by individual writers, teachers, critics, and organizations to share their views about education. Imposing the image of a failing system does injustice to those efforts.

The suggestion of a single system of professional development violates the assumption that participants in education as a social institution volunteer, they are not conscripted. The single system view appears to impose a political agenda on educators.

Robert Heiny
Robert Heinyhttp://www.robertheiny.com
Robert W. Heiny, Ph.D. is a retired professor, social scientist, and business partner with previous academic appointments as a public school classroom teacher, senior faculty, or senior research member, and administrator. Appointments included at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peabody College and the Kennedy Center now of Vanderbilt University; and Brandeis University. Dr. Heiny also served as Director of the Montana Center on Disabilities. His peer reviewed contributions to education include publication in The Encyclopedia of Education (1971), and in professional journals and conferences. He served s an expert reviewer of proposals to USOE, and on a team that wrote plans for 12 state-wide and multistate special education and preschools programs. He currently writes user guides for educators and learners as well as columns for TuxReports.com.

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