We’re Reading…Models of Professional Development
What we are Reading
Inclusive programming for students with disabilities is still a change for many school systems. We know that creating change in an educational system requires training, follow-up and ongoing support. Why? Because it is too easy to continue doing what we have been doing and implementing change in our practice can be a lot of hard work over time. In the text, Models of Professional Development, Bruce Joyce and Emily Calhoun discuss strategies for supporting educators in making long-term changes to their practice. They emphasize that there is no one magic strategy,
“I’d like to find a one best way, but that’s just not the way it is.” However, they stress the importance of understanding the different types of adult learners. Here is a description of the categories that they identify:
- Gourmet omnivores are proactive teachers who seek ways to develop themselves. 10-15% of educators fall into this category. These are natural leaders in their schools.
- Active consumers are people who seek experiences and use them. When in a group of omnivores these folks will behave like them but are less proactive. About 20% of educators are in this category.
- Passive consumers are the largest category with about 50% of educators here. They are dependent on professional and social environments for stimulation and opportunities to grow.
- Reticent consumers include about 5-10% of educators in this category. They will actually push away opportunities for growth and often actually discourage others. Leaders can overestimate the number in this group because we dislike the appearance of conflict which resisters can create.
Ultimately, the degree of change implemented in an educational system depends upon the thoroughness of the training plan. The chart below presents the results of a study which assessed what was needed in order to implement long-term use of new strategies.
Impact of Training Activities on Teacher Implementation