Professional development is a continuous process of individual and collective reflection and improvement of practice. Ongoing, high-quality professional development is an essential part of efforts to improve student learning. As a union, we have a responsibility to maintain high standards for professional development and to support only the highest-quality professional development offerings.
AFT’s Principles for Professional Development
Designed to assist districts, schools, and educators, this AFT report spells out guidelines for effective professional development.
AFT’s Educational Research and Dissemination (ER&D) Program
Created in 1981, the AFT’s ER&D program is a union-sponsored, research-based professional development program. It is designed to help local unions build the capacity to deliver high-quality professional development services, either on their own or in collaboration with their school districts.
- Read the AFT’s “What is ER&D?” brochure
- Read descriptions of all 12 ER&D courses (strands)
- AFT MA has active ER&D programs in Lynn and Lowell. AFT MA local leaders who want to start ER&D programs should contact Dan Murphy, AFT MA’s director of educational policy and programs.
AFT’s Center for School Improvement Leadership Institute
The AFT’s Center for School Improvement Leadership Institute is the AFT’s premier large-scale professional development and technical assistance effort to help school improvement teams with their work. Teams attend a four-day national institute; the next training is Jan. 27-30, 2011, in New York City. In some cases, the AFT will host this professional development program onsite for large teams of educators in locals or states. For more information, contact Dan Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professional Development Sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE)
The MA DESE sponsors professional development courses in a number of content areas each summer. Learn more at: http://www.doe.mass.edu/candi/institutes/
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)
National Board Certified Teachers are highly accomplished educators who meet rigorous professional standards. Many teachers who achieve Board certification say that the process was the best professional development they ever experienced. Is National Board certification right for you?
- Visit the NBPTS website to learn more: http://www.nbpts.org/
- Read a “Guide to Understanding National Board Certification,” a joint publication of the AFT and the National Education Association