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Georgia Association of Private and Parochial Schools: Professional Development

Great teachers inspire and help create great students!

One of the most important aspects of private education is providing students with competent and well informed teachers who can provide long term benefits for student achievement. The continuing education for teachers will start with a well thought out professional development plan.

The eight steps of a successful plan as researched by Professor Steve Higgins at Durham University include:

  • Duration: effective professional development lasts at least two semesters, and needs a ‘rhythm’ of follow-up and consolidation;
  • Targeted: the content should be relevant to the teachers’ needs and day-to-day experiences;
  • Aligned: no single activity is universally effective – instead it is a combination that reinforced the message from different perspectives that works;
  • Content: successful development must consider both subject knowledge and subject-specific teaching techniques;
  • Activities: successful development features common types of activities including discussion, experimentation and analysis and reflection;
  • External input: constructive external input provides new perspectives and challenges orthodoxies;
  • Collaboration: peer support gives participants an opportunity to work together and refine new approaches;
  • Leadership: effective leaders get involved in development, define opportunities and provide the support needed to embed change.

Building Success

GAPPS has made professional development one of the four pillars of success for private education and is developing resources to help our member schools. By providing access to important learning tools and information GAPPS can play an important role in assisting schools with professional development and planning.