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Modeling Effective CS Professional Development

Last month, the National Science Foundation sponsored a workshop on creating high-impact professional development experiences for K-12 computer science teachers. After synthesizing research from a variety of models across STEM fields, the leaders of this workshop noted that the most effective professional developments have the following characteristics:

  • Focuses on a purpose anchored in student learning of specific content in a specific setting
  • Focuses on curriculum and pedagogy
  • Focuses on instruction and learning
  • Models effective practice
  • Active learning opportunities for teachers
  • Develop/sustains group work
  • Collective participation of teachers
  • Teachers experience critical colleagueship involving critique and trust
  • Continuous, long-term, with a substantial number of hours
  • These characteristics resonate with me when I reflect on the many "professional developments" I have had positive (and negative) experiences with both as a teacher and teacher educator in various computer science professional development events.

    What do you think? Do these characteristics reflect the type of professional development you think has the most significant impact on your classroom teaching?

    Joanna Goode
    CSTA Equity Chair

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