Why Most PD Leave Us With More Work

PD As Praxis

When we approach professional development (PD) in education, I believe we need to do it through the praxis lens. In other words, how do we engage deeply in theory but leave with practice that we can employ with our students or staff? Training that consists of ideas alone but lacks practice, falls short and leaves us wanting more.

My Frustration With PD

Over the years I have developed one major frustration with educational PD. Even if I find a take away from the session, it often requires so much work to make it a part of my practice that eventually the ideas (along with the handouts with my notes) end up on the bookshelf to collect dust. The reason for this is not the quality of the PD or the value of the theory and practice — it’s time! As educators, it seems, we never have enough time.

Putting Theory Into Practice

When it is my turn to lead a session I work hard to make the PD engaging and relevant to my audience. But what has equal importance for me is how I empower teachers to take what they learned (theory) and employ it (practice) the very next day with their students, with as little extra work as possible. I am proud of the PD I’ve designed. After one hour with educators they leave with strategies they can employ the next day that will make them more effective practitioners and their students more successful.

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