Breaking the Cycle: Transforming Professional Development

Throughout my journey in this program, I have been working on an innovation plan that I hope would lead to organizational changes at Lamar University. The big goal for my initiative is our educators integrating mobile learning into their curriculum on our campus. However, a big part of the plan involves providing professional development that is effective and lends the right amount of support for educators to accomplish the goal. It’s important to remember WHY effective professional development is so important. Ultimately, student success and achievement depends on teacher effectiveness. Better teachers make better students.

As you probably already know, traditional approaches to professional development lean toward the “sit & get” model which is ineffective at helping teachers reach their full potential and actually improve their pedagogy. After looking to the research, it’s evident that we should adopt the new “go & show” model of effective professional learning so that we can foster a continuous-growth culture in our organization. Please take a look at the presentation below. It provides facts from the research and further explains how we can break the cycle and transform our professional learning.



Clipart used in this presentation was retrieved from https://openclipart.org/ under the CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) license.

In a lot of ways, we already have the tools that we can use to transform professional learning for our educators. Office 365 can be used as a virtual collaboration tool where peers come together for learning and mentoring. Here are some of my ideas for effective professional learning in my organization:

  • Encourage administrators to view themselves as learners and participate in professional learning along with faculty.
  • Build and maintain a professional learning community (or collective) for faculty in our organization.
  • Create online course modules for PL that are customized, self-paced, and include authentic and active learning opportunities for faculty to participate in.
  • Provide time for faculty to collaborate with peers and colleagues.
  • Allow faculty to have more control over the type and content of their PL as they need it.

It took a lot of time to determine how I was going to deliver my presentation. I actually created the same presentation using Sway and PowerPoint but decided to embed the PowerPoint. I like Sway because it is more interactive and the overall look is very polished. It’s easy to use and you can create presentations fairly quickly. However, because I am using WordPress.com (the free version), I am not able to embed the Sway presentation here on my blog because of restrictions using iframes. Click here if you’d like to view my Sway presentation. The PowerPoint presentation is well organized and to the point. I think the inclusion of animations and other media helped to engage the audience while relaying the information in more digestible chunks. However, if I was to present this PowerPoint in person in front of an audience, I would modify it using more visuals and less text. The presentation itself is hosted in my OneDrive so I can make all edits there and changes are reflected immediately.


French, V. W. (1997). Teachers must be learners, too: Professional development and national teaching standards. NASSP bulletin, 81(585), 38-44.

Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the teachers: Effective professional development in an era of high stakes accountability. Center for Public Education, 1-47. Retrieved from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Staffingstudents/Teaching-the-Teachers-Effective-Professional-Development-in-an-Era-of-High-Stakes-Accountability/Teaching-the-Teachers-Full-Report.pdf

Jacob, A., & McGovern, K. (2015). The Mirage: Confronting the hard truth about our quest for teacher development. TNTP. Retrieved from http://tntp.org/publications/view/evaluation-and-development/the-mirage-confronting-the-truth-about-our-quest-for-teacher-development

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Hello! I am currently an eLearning Support Specialist at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. I just completed the Digital Learning and Leading program at Lamar to earn my M. Ed. degree. Thank you for visiting my site!

Posted in Effective Professional Learning
One comment on “Breaking the Cycle: Transforming Professional Development
  1. […] and see what the research had to say about it’s effectiveness. I then created a presentation, Breaking the Cycle: Transforming Professional Development, that summarized why we should and how we can transform professional learning to increase teacher […]

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