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Designing Professional Development as Inquiry: The PEARL Experience

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Title:Designing Professional Development as Inquiry: The PEARL Experience
Authors:Harada, Violet H.
Ogawa, Michael Brian
Date Issued:2013
Publisher:Hi Willow Research & Publishing
Citation:Harada, V. H., & Ogawa, M. B. (2013). Designing professional development as inquiry: The PEARL experience. In D. V. Loertscher (Ed.), Learners in the learning commons, Treasure Mountain Research Retreat #19, Nov. 13-14, Hartford, CT (pp. 87-107). Salt Lake City, UT: Hi Willow Research & Publishing.
Abstract:In an era of high stakes testing and standards-based educational reform, the need for high
quality professional development (PD) emerges as a critical factor that influences
systemic change (Kubitskey and Fishman 2006). The reality, however, is that most
traditional forms of PD are still one-shot workshops with outside experts that
“threaten the teacher’s identities as professionals who bring a life time of experience to the
professional development process” (Reilly and Literat 2012, 102). Tragically, PD is often “demeaning and mind numbing as folks passively sit and get the wisdom of so-called experts” (Sparks 2002, 2-3).
Dennis Sparks (2002), who is noted for his work with the National Staff Development
Council, states that high-quality, meaningful PD must focus on deepening teachers’
content knowledge and pedagogical skills. It embeds opportunities for practice and
reflection in the ongoing work of the classroom. Such PD creates a learning ecosystem
that cultivates collegiality and collaboration in solving important problems related to
teaching and learning (Reilly and Literat 2012). At the core of relevant PD is the need to
frame it as a joint adventure in inquiry for both the developers and the participants.
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