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Teachers matter: A model for effective on-going professional development

Alan Davis

TEACHERS MATTER: A MODEL FOR EFFECTIVE ON-GOING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Teachers are important. Research indicates that teachers have a huge impact on students’ learning - more than any other external factor, including books, curriculum and the learning environment, the teaching that students receive influences their present and future ability to learn and to develop as learners (Harris & Duibhir, 2011; Hattie, 2003; Mendro, 1998).  On-going teacher support and professional development opportunities are crucial for improving the level of student achievement. The effectiveness of any professional development program is determined by its relevance and usefulness for educators and learners.  Theory and research are invaluable, but without practical application and follow-up may be lacking in meaning for teachers.  This workshop will explore several issues concerning professional development for English teachers. The presenter will propose a model for implementation of systematic, ongoing professional development that responds to the needs of teachers and institutions and is directed to making long term changes in order to improve learning.  The model follows a pattern of reflection on current practices, investigation into theories and research, modeling of approaches and techniques, and practical application, while encouraging collaborative learning.