Nearly every public school teacher in the United States takes part in some form of professional development, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s statistics. Yet very little is known about if and how these sessions bring about real change to instruction. In this book, Emily Rodgers and Gay Su Pinnell provide insights into the complexity of providing effective professional development for literacy educators and the challenges of bringing about fundamental change to literacy instruction. In each chapter, educators, including Billie J. Askew, Yvonne Rodriquez, and Carol Lyons, share their research-based findings about the structure of an effective professional development program for literacy teachers.
Some chapters connect professional development initiatives to student outcomes. Others focus on changes in teachers’ instructional practices and growing understandings about literacy development. All chapters clearly report the practical implications of professional development that are relevant to anyone interested in literacy education. The research and experience represented in these chapters encompass many varied models and settings. What binds them together is a common theme: true expertise means developing internal systems for learning while teaching and teaching while learning.