Teacher Training, cont’d.
Coaches/mentors are found to be highly effective in helping teachers implement a new skill. Regardless of whether teachers are working with coaches or in professional learning communities, teachers need to be working with the content they teach. Teachers don’t find professional development on generic topics useful.(6) However, professional development that focuses on teachers analyzing the specific skill and concept they’ll teach in their discipline is not only well-received by teachers, but has also been shown to improve both teacher practice and student learning.
Teachers don’t have to wait and can lead the way by establishing professional learning communities. While there are several research-backed instructional strategies, the research base is still in its infancy. Therefore, schools need teachers to not just be implementers of effective teaching strategies, but also innovators of strategies that foster critical thinking.
GLXi strives to foster this through professional learning communities, communities of teachers in the same content area who create instructional innovations, support each other during the implementation stage, and reflect on the results. In essence, the community of teachers serves as coaches for each other. Research shows that effective professional learning communities can change teacher practice and increase student achievement
citations: 1)(Darling-Hammond et al., 2009) 2) (Yoon et al, 2007; Bush, 1984).3)(Ermeling, 2010; Joyce and Showers, 1982) 4)(Joyce and Showers, 2002). 5)(French, 1997; Banilower, 2002; Yoon et al., 2007). 6)(Peery, 2002; Redding and Kamm, 1999; Dunn and Dunn, 1998).